JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo called on the relevant parties to reduce the price of PCR Covid tests to 300,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($21) from its average cost of $70.
This was confirmed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan during a virtual press conference via the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel on Monday, October 25.
“The instruction of President is to reduce the price of PCR tests to 300,000 Indonesia rupiahs [$21] and air travelers can take a Covid-19 PCR pre-departure test 72 hours before departing from Indonesian airports,” said Luhut.
Luhut said that the number of Covid-19 cases continues to decline, but the government keeps promoting 3T (testing, tracing, treatment) and 3M (mask-wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing) protocols to stem the spread of the coronavirus, especially during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.
“Gradually, the use of Covid PCR test will be applied to other types of transportation modes to anticipate people’s mobility during Christmas and New Year holidays,” he said.
He recalled that the government had required air travelers to perform PCR tests before departing to Bali last year. However, people’s mobility remains high. Currently, he added, the number of travelers to Bali is similar to the number of visitors during the previous Christmas and New Year holidays.
Despite criticism of the mandatory PCR tests for air travelers, the government still requires the tests to contain the spread of the Covid-19 amid the high mobility of the people.
“I emphasize once again that we learn from other countries' experiences, as they ease the restrictions on people activities and health protocols, the Covid-19 cases increased rapidly even though their vaccination rate was much higher than Indonesia,” he said.
(Writer: Haryanti Puspa Sari | Editor: Bayu Galih)
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