Antara, Jakarta – Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) economist, Eko Listiyanto, on Sunday talked about the urgency of PCR tests and other Covid-19 screening tests that are now mandated for a number of public activities, and believes reducing the cost cap of PCR tests would benefit the government's contact tracing capabilities.
"I think the price reduction is important considering that the hefty price for a PCR test, which is used to detect Covid-19, has been complained about by members of the public," said Listiyanto on August 15, Antaranews reported.
He said that a PCR test is still the foremost reference used to determine whether a person has contracted the coronavirus or not and that comparing the prices in other countries that are not as pricey as in Indonesia, a PCR test price reduction is a given.
The direct instruction from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to drop its prices will help Indonesia's lack of tracing capabilities.
"With the lower prices, it is hoped that there will be more tracing," said the INDEF economist.
Reported on Sunday, the President instructed the Health Ministry to set the price ceiling for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at Rp550,000.
"I have talked about it with the health minister. I asked (him) to set the price of the PCR test within the range of Rp450,000 to Rp550,000," the President said via the Presidential Secretariat's Youtube channel in Jakarta on Sunday.