Handling Covid-19, UNAIR researchers develop biomolecular engineering

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Director of RSUA Prof. Dr. Nasronudin, dr., Sp.PD, K-PTI, FINASIM, (right), UNAIR Rector Prof. Dr. Moh. Nasih SE., MT., Ak., CMA (middle), and Prof. Maria Lucia Inge Lusida, dr., M. Kes., Ph.D Head of UNAIR ITD in a press conference on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo: Muhammad Alif Fauzan)

UNAIR NEWS – Since being appointed as one of the institutions handling the covid 19 outbreak, Universitas Airlangga has formed Corona Prevention Task Force. UNAIR has made various quick and responsive efforts through some activities, including research, laboratory tests, and healthcare services.

In this regard, UNAIR has formed a research team led by Prof. Soetjipto Dr., MS, Ph.D, healthcare services for patients infected with the virus led by Prof. Dr. Nasronudin, dr., Sp.PD, K-PTI, FINASIM at UNAIR Hospital; and to identify the virus, a team is led by Prof. Maria Lucia Inge Lusida, dr., M. Kes., Ph.D at Institute for Tropical Diseases (ITD); and to develop products that can provide benefits, either to prevent and treat Covid-19, a team is led by Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih M.Si.

After 3 weeks, the Task Force Teams gave a progress report on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in front of the press. UNAIR Rector Prof. Dr. Moh. Nasih SE., MT., Ak., CMA stated that RSUA has now handled and treated patients with various statuses, ODP, PDP to positive. Of the several positive patients, two of them were recovered and allowed to be discharged from the hospital.

“Until now, UNAIR ITD has tested the swab reaching 1434 patient samples. While the specimens reached 1900 as of March 31, 2020. From that number, positive patients been reported to the Ministry were 152 people, ” she said.

Furthermore, UNAIR Biological Molecular Engineering Research Center developed 3 programs. Among these are the development of a portable covid-19 detection kit based on RNA biosensors. The detector is currently in the process of development. Prof. Nasih expected that within two months the portable covid-19 detection kit based on the RNA biosensor can be operational.

“This kit will check relatively quickly and precisely through a swab,” he said.

Second, the development of a recombinant protein-based vaccine for covid-19. If the vaccine production runs smoothly, it can be obtained within a year. Third, the synthesis of anti covid 19 drug candidates and binding energy analysis using molecular docking methods, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Niko Azhari Hidayat, as a doctor of RSUA, revealed that currently UNAIR is collaborating with ITS to make a healthcare service robot or robot health workers. This robot is equipped with a monitor that can do two-way communication. It eases the performance of the medical team and reduces direct contact with patients and reduce the use of PPE.

“In its application, this robot will send drugs, food, drinks and clothing to patients. Of course, it will be controlled by using a monitor or cellphone, “he said.

The plan, continued Dr. Niko, the product is expected to launch approximately one to two weeks. “The robot will also be equipped with disinfectants for patients who will be used at the RSKI,” he explained.

On that occasion, the Director of UNAIR Hospital (RSUA) Prof. Dr. Nasronuddin, dr., Sp.PD., KPTI-FINASIM also expressed his gratitude to all those who have supported RSUA in the procurement of PPE. RSUA now has a target of zero patient deaths due to covid-19, and zero transmission to medical personnel and families, as well as zero discrimination against dead casualty.

“To reduce the death rate from covid-19, RSUA is currently developing its facilities, by improving the PPE, the ICU capacity originally for 4 is increased to 24, the observation room or HCU which was originally for 16 to 134 and 3 operating rooms are prepared, ” he said.

He said that what is being done by RSUA is in line with the government’s recommendation to increase facilities, including increasing the number of respirators and treatment rooms.

Author: Khefti Al Mawalia

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