At the end of 2019, the newly-discovered coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caught the world by surprise by causing a global pandemic. The outbreak started in the city of Wuhan which is situated in the Hubei Province, China. It then began to gradually spread to other countries through international travel.
Based on the data from John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources Center, by 29 March 2020 at 4:29 P.M., there were 669,312 people who had contracted the disease worldwide with a total death toll of 30,982.
The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly affected the world’s economy and education system. Central and local governments all over the world have ordered all schools and universities to indefinitely halt all activities; all was done in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. In Indonesia, schools and universities have been encouraged to find ways to teach their students without the conventional classroom activities.
Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences (i3L) has taken an active role in the Indonesia Pasti Bisa movement in order to support research on COVID-19 and to develop new test kits. The ongoing outbreak does not stop i3L from innovating and providing education through its social activities.
i3L and several other institutions are working together as members of the Research and Technological Innovation Task Force to Fight COVID-19, formed by Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT). The task force was formed as a genomic data center which can help current research on COVID-19 vaccine development and treatment. The task force is also working on the development and the mass production of the COVID-19 test kits which will be distributed all over the country.
Data taken from the genome sequencing process will be used by researchers and medical experts in Indonesia to create vaccine and design the best treatment for COVID-19. The data can also be used to study the distribution of the coronavirus spread in order to help the government create the best strategies to stop the outbreak.