PCR Test Prices Drop, Garuda Indonesia Boss Hopes There Will Be An Increase In Passenger Traffic
Garuda Indonesia aircraft. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

JAKARTA - President Director of PT Garuda Indonesia, Irfan Setiaputra, welcomes the government's decision to lower the price of the RT-PCR test to IDR 495 thousand. He hopes that the decision will encourage an increase in passenger traffic.

As is known, the government previously issued a new regulation regarding aircraft travel on domestic and international routes during the PPKM (Community Activity Restrictions) level 16 to 23 August 2021. The regulation was stated in the Ministry of Transportation Circular Letter Number 62 of 2021 which came into effect on August 11.

In this circular, the government regulates that intra-Java-Bali passengers with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine must include an RT-PCR test. Meanwhile, passengers with the second dose of vaccine can choose the Antigen result.

"Indeed, we realized that when the travel restrictions were carried out, one of the conditions had to be PCR. This always had an impact on the decrease in the number of passengers. Therefore, if the PCR price drops, of course, we hope that there will be an increase in flight traffic in the future", he said in a virtual press conference, Thursday, August 19.

However, Irfan emphasized that the increase in passenger traffic was not only caused by the falling RT-PCR prices. According to him, many factors affect the increase or decrease in flight traffic.

"Please understand that the decrease or increase in traffic is not caused by PCR but is also caused by many conditions. Among them are conditions at the destination, then flight restrictions for children and so on", he explained.

Previously, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) asked Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin to lower the price of the PCR test to a minimum of IDR 450 and a maximum of IDR 550 thousand. This request was made by Jokowi in response to the price of the RT-PCR test, which is still relatively expensive in the country.

Furthermore, according to Jokowi, one way to increase COVID-19 testing is to lower the price of the RT-PCR test.

"I have spoken to the Minister of Health about this. I asked that the price of the PCR test be IDR 450 thousand-550 thousand", he said in a video uploaded by the Cabinet Secretariat, Sunday, August 15.

Not only asking to lower the price of the PCR test, but Jokowi also asked that the results of the PCR test can be published within 1 x 24 hours. This is because the results of the RT-PCR test have only been published for a few days.

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