Govt to coordinate with labs to investigate coronavirus mutation


Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Indonesian government will rope in laboratories capable of sequencing the entire genome to examine the new mutation of the coronavirus that has been detected in several countries, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

“There may be about 11 out of 12 laboratories in Indonesia with the Ministry of National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) that have the ability for genome sequencing,” Budi said during a press teleconference originating from the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health, he said, will ask a referral hospital handling COVID-19 patients to routinely send patient examination samples to a designated laboratory for the purposes of research on the mutation of the coronavirus.

“We will also ensure that referral hospitals with a lot of COVID-19 patients send their samples regularly,” he added.

The Health Minister said that the government is also collaborating with international institutions in researching the new mutation of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“This is to see, to find out the pattern of its spread in the world, because the virus has indeed spread at the world level,” the minister stated.

The former deputy minister of state-owned enterprises said that until now it is not known whether the mutated coronavirus has also entered Indonesian territory.

“Until now, we don’t know yet, because in order to detect this virus strain, whole genome sequencing must be carried out. Sequencing genetic information from this virus must be done,” Sadikin said.

He urged the public to remain disciplined in implementing the health protocols, wearing masks, maintaining distance, and washing hands, to prevent coronavirus transmission.

Indonesia added 7,903 fresh coronavirus infections in a single day, bringing the total case tally to 727,122, the Task Force for COVID-19 Handling reported here on Tuesday.

With 6,805 more people recovering from the virus, the total number of COVID-19 recoveries reached 596,783.

With 251 COVID-19 patients succumbing to the virus, the total death toll reached 21,703.

The data was obtained from 65,143 specimens examined in a day. The cumulative number of specimens examined in Indonesia has reached 7,224,452 so far.

The country also registered 68,181 suspected COVID-19 infections in 510 districts and cities in 34 provinces. (INE)


Source: Antara News