The Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology has formed a consortium of local research institutions and universities to tackle the rising number of COVID-19 in the country. The parties will collaborate on identifying compounds that can inhibit the spread of the virus, producing vaccine and implementing artificial intelligence solutions for faster testing. For the first stage, the consortium will receive USD 1.2 million from the Ministry.
The consortium is made up of non-ministerial government agencies, such as the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT), Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) and Eijkman Molecular Biology Institute (LBM Eijkman). There are also universities in the group: Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), University of Indonesia (UI), Airlangga University and Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
IPB and UI are researching on developing antivirus for COVID-19 from flavonoid compound found in red guava and honey. LIPI is partnering with ITB to create a safe disinfection chamber that is ozone-based. Moreover BPPT is developing a non-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and non-PCR test for COVID-19 detection. In the long-term, LBM Eijkman aims at developing a vaccine for the COVID-19.
The Indonesian government has also eliminated import duties for materials used to develop vaccine, Medical aid and testing devices sent by other countries. Licensing requirement to import protective gear such as masks, Medical attire, gloves and various Medical equipment has been removed until June 2020 in order to mitigate the shortage of such items in the country.
(Sources: Jakarta Globe; The Jakarta Post)