The laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection comprises the informational cornerstone in the effort to contain the infections. Therefore, the ability to leverage laboratories' capacity in diagnostic testing and to increase the number of people being tested are critical. This paper reviews the readiness of Indonesian laboratories during the early months of the pandemic. It discusses the success of cross-sectoral collaboration among previously siloed national and sub-national government institutions, international development agencies, and private sector stakeholders. This collaboration managed to scale-up the COVID-19 referral laboratory network from one Ministry of Health NIHRD laboratory in the capital to 685 laboratories across 34 provinces. However, this rapid growth within 12 months since the first Indonesian case was discovered remained insufficient to cater for the constantly surging testing demands within the world's fourth most populous country. Reflecting on how other countries built their current pandemic preparedness from past emergencies, this paper highlights challenges and opportunities in workforce shortage, logistic distribution, and complex administration that need to be addressed.
Keywords: Indonesia; SARS-CoV-2; laboratory readiness; pandemics; response.
Copyright © 2021 Aisyah, Mayadewi, Igusti, Manikam, Adisasmito and Kozlakidis.