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    Biotechnology Faculty Lecturer Joins the BPPT Covid-19 Task Force

    The Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (AJCUI) is contributing to reducing the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Lecturer in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Senior Researcher at BPPT, Dr. Irvan Faizal, M.Eng., has joined the TFRIC19, as the Secretary of the Task Force and the Coordinator of the Non-PCR Rapid Diagnostic Test Sub-Task Force. Lecturer of Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Ir. Lukas, MAI, CISA, IPM., is also in the task force to offer his expertise in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

    The Sub-Task Force, in which Dr. Irvan is the coordinator-of, will produce a Rapid Diagnostic Test for COVID 19. In collaboration with BPPT, ITB, UNPAD, UGM, and the Research and Development Department from the Ministry of Health Research, the Rapid Diagnostic Test design for antibody detection (IgG / IgM).

    “I partook in the team for the reason that the competencies and abilities, especially in research and innovation, I possess, might be utilized to play a role in the handling and detecting the COVID-19 in Indonesia,” said Dr. Irvan.

    The lecturer in the Faculty of Biotechnology also explained that in the produced of the antibodies detection, it was designed using the COVID-19 virus from Indonesian virus isolates, hence it would be more sensitive and specific for Indonesia’s characteristics.

    Furthermore, this sub-task force will also produce detection products using a microchip that can detect antigens so that they can be used to identify virus infections after two days of infected a person.

    “This innovative product may be utilized to detect COVID-19 in a patient under close monitoring (PDP) and patient under observation (ODP) in the short of time (10-15 minutes). This product expected to be more sensitive and specific for Indonesians patience in comparison to imported IgG / IgM detection, which generates low-value sensitivity and specificity,” explained Dr. Irvan.

    As is known, BPPT has five quick mitigation plans for the COVID-19 outbreaks. These include Whole Genome COVID-19 Origin Indonesia (analysis and forming using data from infected Indonesians), Non-PCR Diagnostic Test COVID-19 (development in the form of dip-sticks and micro-chips), and PCR Diagnostic Test COVID-19 (development following the latest mutations of COVID-19).

    The other plans are COVID-19 Pandemic Facilities and Infrastructure (strengthening suggestions and detection targets, mobile labs, health logistics, and innovation ecosystems), and Artificial Intelligence COVID-19 (information technology and AI application to support diagnose and decision making).

    Dr. Irvan hopes to keep supporting all teams that have performed sustained and zealously against COVID-19 in creating products that are useful in preventing, detecting, and responding to COVID-19. He advised that the community always maintain health and continue to pray.

    “Please support every stakeholder who had a significant concern in developing an innovative product and in research to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. Take care of your health, physical distance, and keep praying,” he said.