Indonesia Unveils COVID-19 Screening Tool to Support Safe Travel

Indonesia has launched GeNose (Gadjah Mada Electronic Nose) C19, a COVID-19 detection tool, to help facilitate safe travel. GeNose C19’s development is based on an AI-powered sensory system originally invented by science researchers at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta for analysing food, beverages, and detecting tuberculosis. The rapid test can analyse breath samples using artificial technology and detect COVID-19 infection within less than two minutes.

After conducting diagnostic trails and analysis from August – December 2020, the Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency said that GeNose C19 has an accuracy of 93-94%, and is a more comfortable and less invasive way of testing for COVID-19 compared to throat and nasal swabs. Additionally, the tool is portable so it can be used in any public spaces. Costs for the test are very affordable at between 15,000 – 20,000 rupiah (USD 1.04 – 1.38) per test.

The tool was first licensed by the Indonesian Health Ministry on 24 December 2020 and shortly after launched and deployed at major railway stations in Java. The Ministry of Transportation has announced that COVID-19 screening for airline passengers using the device will be available by April, starting initially at the airports in Medan, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

Indonesian officials have announced that some “green areas” in Bali will be open to foreign travellers from July. Talks of establishing a travel corridor program are also currently underway. Several things must be achieved before the program starts, such as low COVID-19 numbers, increased compliance to health protocols, stronger testing – in which GeNose C19 will be pivotal – tracing and treatment, and the vaccination of at least 2 million people in Bali by July.

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