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(Jakarta, 11/05/2020) In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit all provinces in Indonesia, several economic activities have been halted to prevent the spread of the corona virus. However, the Gamma Merah Putih (IGMP) facility, by implementing strict social restrictions, continues to operate to serve irradiation services from the public.

Head of the Center for Isotope and Radiation Applications, Totti Tjiptosumirat said, IGMP is a nuclear facility which was inaugurated for its utilization in 2017. IGMP is used for various purposes including preservation of food ingredients, cosmetics, and sterilization of medical devices.

"IGMP provides irradiation services to the public related to the national economic turnaround, such as supporting the production of food and medical devices, as well as supporting exports of food and medicinal raw materials," said Totti.

Therefore, explained Totti, even in conditions of large-scale social restrictions, IGMP still operates to provide services to the community by prioritizing health protocols. During the implementation of restrictions, several protocols or Standard Operating Procedures for Covid-19 were implemented, such as the use of masks, maintaining distance between workers and customers, and the use of disinfectants and hand sanitization.

"In addition, for workers or implementing irradiation activities, working hours are imposed with the aim of reducing the number of people to meet at the same time, but with the same target or according to customer requests," he added.

Totti hopes that the continued operation of the IGMP will be a form of BATAN's commitment to continue to support the economy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, with the operation of the IGMP, it is hoped that the support for the foodstuff, drug and medical device industries will continue.

"Thus the national economy will be helped and continue to run, even though the contribution made by the IGMP is still on a small scale," he said.

The head of the IGMP Loka, Indra Milyardi said, although the IGMP continued to operate during the implementation of the restrictions, the number of operating hours was reduced to 12 hours per day from the previous 24 hours per day. This reduction in operating hours is an effort to reduce social interaction between workers and customers in order to reduce the spread of covid-19.

"During the restrictions, every day the IGMP is operated by 8 workers consisting of 3 operators, 4 technicians and 1 field worker," said Indra.

According to Indra, the number of customers who used IGMP services during the implementation of this restriction did not experience a significant decrease, in fact, there were certain companies that experienced an increase in production. From mid-March to April 2020, the irradiation services carried out by IGMP reached an average of 20 tons per week.

"Demand for irradiation services during the Covid-19 pandemic is still stable, but IGMP operating hours are limited, resulting in quite a long queue for work. This is because IGMP operating hours have been reduced from 24 hours to 12 hours per day," concluded Indra (Humas-BATAN).