COVID-19: Indonesia on hunt for PCR testing kits

first_imgIndonesia is struggling to acquire the necessary kits to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on a massive scale given the surge in global demand, the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19 affairs has said.Achmad Yurianto, who is also the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the government was scrambling to procure reagents from other countries as Indonesia’s current stock of reagents would only last a week.The supply would only be enough for 35,000 tests, he said.“The problem for our existing labs, which use open-circuit machines, is that the whole world is scrambling to acquire reagents for RNA [ribonucleic acid] extraction. Because these reagents are certainly used by all labs with open-circuit [machines]”.Read also: In major policy shift, Jokowi orders transparency in pandemic fightYurianto said that, as testing kit factories had reached their full production capacity, many countries, including Indonesia, were looking to countries that had an oversupply of kits. “The pandemic has brought about this consequence; any country will meet its own needs and prioritize itself first,” Yurianto said.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reiterated his call for the Health Ministry and the COVID-19 task force to conduct more PCR testing on Monday, saying that they should aim to conduct at least 10,000 tests a day amid criticism that the country had one of the lowest testing rates in the world.Yurianto said that, according to government estimates, the country would need to conduct some 1.2 million tests, which it should look to accomplish by May.The government needs to reach the figure not only to detect new cases but also to find out whether there have been any recoveries, as patients with moderate symptoms might need to undergo the test four times, while those with severe symptoms might need to get tested even more than that.Aside from efforts to obtain supplies of reagents, Yurianto said the government would opt to use rapid molecular testing equipment commonly used to detect tuberculosis bacteria, which with adjusted cartridges can detect the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.Yurianto said there were 957 such machines in 456 cities and regencies across the country, but only 305 were compatible, as they were produced after 2018.This option, however, is not without its share of problems, as the demand for such cartridges, produced in a limited amount by the United States, was on the rise elsewhere. Yurianto said the government had ordered 23,000 cartridges this month, which could be used to run the same number of tests, but they would arrive in stages, with the first 3,000 cartridges currently on the way.A similar concern was shared by Arya Sinulingga, an aide to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, who said in a press briefing earlier this month that almost all countries in the world were scrambling to acquire testing kits and machines. The SOEs Ministry recently imported two RNA extractors and 18 PCR detectors, which Arya said would be distributed to labs in 12 regions.The Health Ministry has a nationwide network of 32 laboratories that can run a total 5,000 tests a day with a declining supply of reagents, according to Yurianto, as the Health Ministry was assessing several other labs, including private ones, to run the tests.Read also: Govt wants 78 laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testsA survey by the Indonesian Medical Biology Association (PBMI) showed that, as of April 5, Indonesia had at least 106 laboratories that met the standards to run PCR tests as proposed by the Health Ministry. However, for the government to make the most of these labs, it must ensure a sustainable supply of testing kits, experts said.Yogyakarta’s spokesperson for COVID-19 affairs, Berty Murtiningsih, said that reagents were often unavailable from the central government. She said her administration supported Jokowi’s aim of testing 10,000 people per day, as long as the reagents were available.There are four labs running PCR tests in Yogyakarta; two in Gadjah Mada University Hospital, one in Dr. Sardjito General Hospital and the Health Ministry’s Environmental Health and Disease Control Center (BBTKLPP), which also processes samples from nearby Central Java. There is usually a long backlog at the BBTKLPP, Berty said.“Each lab could process between 100 and 150 samples, provided the reagents are available,” she added.West Java Health Agency head Berli Hamdani said there were currently three labs processing the tests in the province with a total capacity of 1,400 tests per day, but the figure is expected to double when machines imported by the SOEs Ministry arrive.The province’s COVID-19 task force secretary, Daud Achmad, said on Monday that his administration had 20,000 PCR testing kits and, as a result, the most urgent tests should be prioritized.Bali is planning to double its testing capacity by preparing Udayana University Hospital’s lab as it also expects PCR testing machines from the central government. Currently, Sanglah Hospital’s laboratory is the only laboratory conducting PCR testing on the resort island with a capacity of 68 tests a day.— Bambang Muryanto, Arya Dipa, Ni Komang Erviani and Asip Hasani contributed to this story from Yogyakarta, Bandung, Denpasar and Blitar.Topics :last_img read more

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Quake Champions 2018 esports schedule revealed

first_imgOver the weekend at PAX East, Bethesda Softworks, publisher of Quake Champions revealed more details about the games 2018 esports schedule and updates to the game bringing forth a new map and champion.The first tournament of the year will take place at Dreamhack Tours in May with a prize pool of $50,000 (£35,309). The event marks a first in Quake esports, with no prior qualifier – all players attending Dreamhack will have the opportunity to compete for the prize.Alongside Dreamhack Tours, QuakeCon 2018 will host the titles second major event in August; a PGL hosted event taking place in October; with the Quake Champions Invitational taking place at Dreamhack Winter in December finishing off a solid year for Quake Champions events in 2018.Tickets are available now for the first Quake event at Dreamhack Tours in May, with other events due to go on sale in due course.Bethesda also went into some detail about a number of smaller events taking place in 2018 with the Collegiate Star League beginning in June. A number of online tournaments will also take place on a weekly and monthly basis with varying prize pools via tournament hosts ESL Go4 League, Battlefly and the Quake Champions Open League.Finally, Bethesda confirmed Quake Champions will be getting a new champion – Strogg: The primary enemy from Quake II and Quake 4. While a new map – Awoken: Will see players fight in a tropical labyrinth playable in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Duel, 2v2 and Instagib.Esports Insider Says: Quake is a classic, so it’s always good to see the game in the news. With the game still in early access, it has time to polish off and find its audience. It remains to be seen if Quake holds the same level of relevance that it had in the 90’s, its appearance at major events will certainly help and QuakeCon prove the game still has a crowd after all these years.last_img read more

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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers hold on to win Game 1 of the NLDS

first_img“It was a grind, a lot of guys on base all the time,” Kershaw said. “I guess that’s as close as you can get to bending without breaking.”Indeed, Kershaw allowed eight hits and walked one. The Nationals edged back within a run but went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position against Kershaw, stranding seven baserunners in his five innings.It was Kershaw’s shortest postseason start since he was knocked out in the fifth inning of Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS. That left 12 outs for the Dodgers’ bullpen — an average night’s work for it during the regular season.“What we’ve done all year long is put ourselves in position to win and turn it over to the bullpen,” Turner said. “The bullpen has been our backbone all season long.“We’ve talked about it as a group. … It’s not one guy that’s going to carry us and don’t try to do it all yourself. Clayton went out there and he emptied the tank for five innings and left the game with a lead and we turned it over to our guys that have been locking down games for us all season.”Well, not exactly “all season.” Joe Blanton started the season as the long man then gradually moved to being the last link before closer Kenley Jansen — but Roberts turned to him in the sixth inning Friday. Next up was Grant Dayton, who spent a good chunk of his summer in the minor leagues. Roberts sent him in for his playoff baptism against last year’s NL MVP, Bryce Harper “I had forgotten about that,” Dayton said of Harper’s hardware. “I was just trying to simplify the game. I know it’s the playoffs but I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking ‘Righty. Lefty.’ (And a game plan for each).“Then I want to forget who it is I’m facing, who we’re playing.”Dayton got Harper to pop out and handed the lead off to Pedro Baez in the seventh. Baez got two more outs — and Yasmani Grandal one when he threw out Daniel Murphy on a steal attempt.In a postseason that has already seen closer usage more flexible than it has been in decades, Roberts went to his with one out and no one on in the eighth inning.“Right now, we’re playing for one thing,” Jansen said. “If I have to go six outs right now, it’s just ‘We’ve got to go.’ If I have to do it every day — ‘We’ve got to go.’”Jansen gave up a two-out double to pinch-hitter Clint Robinson but got Chris Heisey looking at strike three to end the eighth.Roberts was forced to make another call in the top of the ninth when the Nationals intentionally walked Yasiel Puig to load the bases with two outs — and Jansen scheduled to bat. Forced to choose between a pinch-hitter (Andre Ethier was momentarily on deck) and his closer, Roberts chose his closer and let Jansen bat.“A little gamesmanship,” Roberts said. “No way anyone else was going to come into the game.”Once a switch-hitting catcher, Jansen struck out (batting left-handed against Mark Melancon) to end the top of the ninth, then struck out Trea Turner and Jayson Werth with a Harper lineout to second base sandwiched between to close the game in the bottom of the inning.“Whatever we’ve got to do to win, right?” Seager said with a smile. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error WASHINGTON, D.C. >> For Clayton Kershaw, it was the equivalent of a “trust fall.”Even before taking the mound for Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers ace said he felt less of a burden to carry his team this postseason. It was “a different feeling” than he had in the past, this feeling that he could “rely” on his teammates, born of watching the Dodgers thrive during his 75-day absence.That faith was put to the test quickly.Kershaw labored through five innings, squandering most of a four-run head start the Dodgers offense provided. But the Dodgers’ bullpen allowed just one hit over the final four innings as they took the opener 4-3 Friday night.center_img “We’ve done that all year long,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of a bullpen that led the majors in both appearances and innings pitched during the regular season. “Just happens it was a playoff game.”Corey Seager gave the Dodgers an early lead when he crushed a first-pitch fastball from Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first inning. The pitch came in at 97 mph and left at 109, the exit velocity as Seager sent it over the center-field wall.Two innings later, the Dodgers made it 4-0 with a three-run burst against Scherzer. Andrew Toles led off with a single and worked his way around to score on an RBI single by Chase Utley. Two batters later, Justin Turner hit a two-run home run.Handing Kershaw a four-run lead is usually as safe as buying T-bills — but not so much in October.He put in five innings of hard labor, throwing 101 pitches — more than he had thrown in a game since June 20 (before he went on the DL with a herniated disc in his back).last_img read more

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