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Bekasi delays rapid testing for COVID-19

Jakarta Post - March 24, 2020

Jakarta – The administration in Bekasi, West Java, has delayed its plan to conduct rapid testing for COVID-19, which was set to be held on Tuesday, as the test kits have yet to arrive

Initially, the Bekasi administration was to conduct the rapid testing at the Patriot Candrabaga Stadium in South Bekasi on Tuesday.

"We're still waiting for the test kits and the testing methods," Deputy Bekasi Mayor Tri Adhianto said in a video post on his Instagram account, @mastriadhianto, on Monday.

"We continuously evaluate the mechanism for conducting the tests effectively, and to avoid the possibility of having a mass gathering," he added.

After Jakarta was named the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia, Bekasi, a satellite city of the capital, had stepped up its efforts to detect the spread of the disease by holding mass rapid testing for its residents.

Indonesia on Tuesday confirmed 107 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily increase to date, bringing the total number of cases to 686. Seven more people died bringing the total number of deaths to 55.

West Java, the second-hardest hit province across the country, recorded 59 confirmed cases with nine deaths as of Monday, with 16 confirmed cases in Bekasi.

The planned rapid test was expected to involve blood tests. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Sunday that his administration had decided to go first with Bekasi because of the high number of confirmed cases there.

Both the central government and regional governments have instructed the public to stay away from mass gathering to avoid possible contraction of the virus.

The Bekasi administration, therefore, is trying to find the best way to perform the massive rapid testing without exposing its residents to COVID-19.

The deputy mayor advised residents to register themselves for the rapid testing at the Bekasi Health Agency.

"Do not come [to the stadium on Tuesday]. For those interested [in taking the test], please register at the health agency," said Adhianto. "Stay healthy, exercise and pray." (dfr)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/24/bekasi-delays-rapid-testing-for-covid-19.html