In the absence of proven effective treatments and vaccines, massive diagnostic testing has become a vital step to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Adequate diagnostics will allow public healthcare authorities to keep track of the spread of the virus and provide quick measures for isolation to help contain COVID-19. However, in actuality, the application of this initial step has its bottleneck: there are limited test kits available, human errors during technical operations and lack of proper sample transportations inhibit accurate and effective testing. Therefore, it is important to address this gap to accelerate the supply chain of COVID-19 tests.
To tackle these shortcomings, since mid (insert month), i3L and several other institutions have joined forces to ramp up national efforts in the fight against COVID-19. This collaborative work mainly focuses on the aforementioned gap. With state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, i3L has been very prompt in mobilizing all of its resources in order to partake in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus. The sense of responsibility to contribute to the society through our expertise and excellent facilities are what drive i3L to join forces with the other institutions. We feel that the threat that we’re currently facing is something that needs an integrated and collective effort.
We are Leveraging our Resources for the Development of COVID-19 Test Kits for Indonesia
Initiated by East Ventures, a crowdfunding platform called Indonesia Pasti Bisa was created in order to help the development of locally-produced COVID-19 test kits. This initiative is part of the Research and Technological Innovation Task Force to Fight COVID-19 formed by Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT). A test kit prototype is being developed by Nusantics using the provided resources available in i3L laboratories. Besides providing technical aids, i3L also gives its support through its research expertise in molecular techniques to help with the assembly of the test kit prototype led by i3L’s final-year students and alumni. Moreover, in further collective actions with Bio Farma, 15,000 COVID-19 test kits based on the developed prototype are set to be produced daily.
We Collaborate with Kalgen Innolab to Support Diagnostic Operations
Kalgen Innolab Laboratory, a subsidiary of Kalbe Farma, is one of the private institutions that has been selected by the Indonesian government as a referral laboratory to provide COVID-19 testing using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or viral RNA detection. i3L also partakes in this effort by providing volunteers who are its final-year students and alumni to help as laboratory technicians who carry out the PCR diagnostic process.
We Supplied 4,000 Units of VTM to Hospitals in Indonesia
In another collaborative work with the Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI), i3L has contributed in the production of 4,000 units of Viral Transport Medium (VTM) which will be distributed among referral hospitals in Indonesia. The distributed VTM units help provide COVID-19 tests for all healthcare workers in concordance with the CISDI program. As the number of infected individuals is increasing exponentially, VTM has become the vital and limiting component to carry out the test to determine the quality and viability of the virus-containing swabs during transportation.
We Collaborate with Medika Plaza to Support Diagnostic Operations
Medika Plaza is a private clinic that offers medical consultations and medical check-up services for its clients. In this unprecedented situation, Medika Plaza has decided to become one of the institutions to run COVID-19 testing. Currently, several i3L final-year students and alumni are volunteering to support the technical operations of PCR testing at Medika Plaza. Volunteering opportunities are still available for final-year students or alumni who wish to sign up: please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org