Image: Blood testing at Sanglah. Credit: athleticlab.com.

The Bali Provincial Government is ready to conduct independent covid-19 virus tests from Thursday (3/26/2020) at Sanglah General Hospital, Denpasar.

According to Bali Co-19 Task Force Chief Dewa Made Indra, the reagents for laboratory testing arrived on Monday night and yesterday (Tuesday morning) tests had begun at the Sanglah Hospital laboratory, with a team from the Medical Faculty of Udayana University.

“The Sanglah laboratory and the medical faculty of Udayana University have said that starting Thursday, March 26, the Covid-19 laboratory test will be used,” Indra told Kompas this morning, Wednesday (3/24/2020).

This will mean that swab samples of suspected Covid-19 patients from all over Bali do not need to be sent to Jakarta (with a wait of up to seven days for results till now) and will be taken directly to Sanglah Hospital.

To speed up tests for people under monitoring, the Bali government has also sought to purchase rapid testing equipment which is expected to arrive on the Island of the Gods on March 28.

In addition, Dewa Indra said the central government will also provide rapid test equipment, which, of course, will be put into use as soon as it arrives.

The rapid testing will be prioritized for people under Covid-19 monitoring (ODP), namely Indonesian migrant workers arriving back from all over the world who are now in quarantine, then those who have been in close contact with positive cases of Covid-19.

“If the rapid test results are negative for those who are in quarantine (30 people in total), they will be able to go home immediately. So there is no need to stay the 14 days,” the former head of the Bali BPBD told Republika.

Dewa Indra added, the rapid test would also be prioritized for medical personnel, paramedics and staff who are handling patients under supervision (PDP) in a number of Bali hospitals.

“As for the PDP, the swab sample and laboratory test in the Sanglah General Hospital remains the most reliable test for them,” he said.

Dewa Indra said according to Covid-19 patient data, for Tuesday (24/3) there were nine PDP additions, namely two foreigners and seven Indonesian citizens. For positive cases, it is still the same as previous data, six cases, four foreigners and two Indonesian citizens.

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