JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – New Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has strongly criticized the government’s current method of Covid-19 testing, as the number of coronavirus cases is fast approaching the one million mark across Indonesia.
Budi slammed the methods to contain the pandemic, on grounds that it does not adhere to epidemiological standards.
“The number of Covid-19 cases continue to multiply even though the number of people tested [for the pandemic] regularly exceeded the targets set by the World Health Organization,” he said on Friday, January 23.
“The methods of testing, tracing and treatment or 3T, and isolation [of cases] are nothing more than patching up a flat tire. We are not even disciplined or impartial in carrying out the tests.”
Budi maintained that the authorities did not cast their net of test subjects widely enough. “The authorities might carry out many tests. But many of the samples they took are from a relatively limited number of people, not least officials like me,” he asserted.
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“Every time I meet President [Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo] I get tested. I even got a swab test five times a week before I go to the Presidential Palace,” Budi pointed out.
“The more I get tested, the more samples the authorities can acquire to meet [WHO standards]. What is the point of that sort of testing?”
He said that proper epidemiological tests should target suspected Covid-19 cases among the public, not just officials or travelers, so the authorities can trace or treat them just as quickly and as evenly they are tested.