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Strict health protocol prevents case growth, not PCR tests, expert says

Tempo - November 10, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Epidemiology Association (PAEI) member Masdalina Pane said efforts to prevent another wave of Covid-19 spread is not by mandating PCR tests on travelers but maintaining strict health protocols (3M) such as practicing physical distances among each other, always wearing face masks, and routinely washing hands.

"What should be done for domestic travel is preventing transmission [among people]. How to do it? Well, with 3M," said the PAEI professional development head on November 9.

This comes after news broke that the government through Coordinating MInister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, who is also the coordinator of the public activity restriction (PPKM), announced that mandated PCR tests for travelers could see a return as Christmas and New Year's Eve is closing in.

She argues that imposing PCR tracing on travelers will not be effective for regions with limited access to proper testing laboratories that will prolong the results of the tests, which she said some regions could come with results after two days.

Producing late results is what she argues could prove ineffective as viral transmissions can happen within the days the samples are being tested. Masdalina also believes that it should not justify increasing public transportation capacity to 100 percent as it would hamper health restrictions from being practiced properly.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1526870/strict-health-protocol-prevents-case-growth-not-pcr-tests-expert-say