Rapid Test: A Profitable Business That Afflicts People


Source: Tempo

LiputanIslam.com— Rapid test has become a business that not only drains the state budget but also strangles the people. The conditions of the need for rapid tests have begun to spread everywhere, ranging from access to travel to the work conditions. Drivers in Banyuwangi, for example, complain that the cost of the rapid test is so expensive, which they need it to cross to Bali.

Making a living is difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paying the rapid test is just rubbing salt into the wound. According to Ombudsman, the price of a one-time rapid test can reach Rp 500.000.

Read: Kadin Projects Indonesia’s Economic Growth at -6 Percent in Q2

This is a new business area used by a few people to get some profits. They can import rapid test equipment and expand the scope of their use as widely as possible. Business reasoning has really played a strong role in this situation. However, the accuracy of the rapid test in determining someone tested positive for COVID-19 is admitted as being inaccurate. Therefore, after doing the rapid test, they still need to be tested again with a swab test.

If the accuracy of the rapid test is very low, why is it still be used? Why not just take the swab instead? The West Sumatra government is the only region that does not spend the budget for the rapid test. They do not believe in the rapid test equipment, so, the state budget in West Sumatra is not wasted to buy it.

In West Sumatra, all tests are carried out with a PCR swab test, which has an acceptable result. The time issue of the PCR swab test which is said to take days is proven wrong by the Head of the Laboratory Center of Andalas University, Padang, Dr. Andani Eka Putra. The swab test can be done quickly there, and the result can be known in 24 hours. If it can be done in West Sumatra, why not in other places?

Business Ego is Still a Priority

Professor Djohansjah Marzoeki, a pioneer of plastic surgery in Surabaya, said that ego and subjectivity often overcame scientific problems. This ego also applies in the case of rapid tests. Scientifically, the accuracy of rapid tests has indeed problematic. But the ego demands that this method is still in force.

They think that rapid tests are easy to do, just buying and importing the equipment, and selling them at a favorable price. The issue of effectiveness is not prioritized. In this case, the people are victims who become the target of trade.

The government has planned to overcome this issue by applying a standardized rapid test service fee with a maximum price range of Rp 150.000. However, as it has happened before, the government is not capable of dealing with frauds committed by unscrupulous people who dredge public money, especially if done by top-level businessmen who have a lot of partners with the government officials. (sh/HA/liputanislam.com)