ICSFRI during the pandemic: what has and will be done.

In the middle of Covid-19 pandemic, ICSFRI within its own ability/authority tried to restrain the spread of the disease through several means. Since  23rd March, work-from-home policy has been applied, effectively reduced the number of staff working in the office. Along with that, ICSFRI via its Post Harvest Laboratory produced one of the necessities in this outbreak, hand sanitizer. After equipped every possible corner in the office area with hand sanitizer and wash basin for washing hand, ICSFRI also made hand sanitizer product in a 100 ml container for donation to the Batu City government.

Last month, 360 litre ethanol-based hand sanitizer was made and divided into a 60 ml container which rounded up to 6000 containers. These products then sent to Bogor where our main office is located. The hand sanitizers then donated to every staff there and to others who may need it. Bogor is one of the earliest city to catch the diseases and since then has showed many positive cases including the mayor of the city. Apart from the sanitation product, ICSFRI via the association of civil servant, also gather some fund in order to relieve the impact of the coronavirus pandemic for most of day labourers and contract employees as well as residents near the office. The fund then used to buy food necessities and donated to them.

            In the scientific parts, recent research showed that citrus peel may be used to fight coronavirus thanks to its hesperidin, a flavonoid substance which found mostly in the citrus peel (https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4956825/penjelasan-tim-riset-ipb-soal-jus-jeruk-pakai-kulit-bisa-lawan-corona/2).

Since citrus is the main mandate of the ICSFRI and there are more than 200 accessions in the germ plasm collection, it is interesting to see which of the citrus accessions contain more of this substance. Unfortunately, ICSFRI has lack facility and resources to analyse the citrus in the office and has to rely more on external service lab to find this information. Furthermore, in the current situation, it is difficult to find any lab which is still serving due to work from home policy. Therefore, other strategy is needed, whether by cooperation with other institution or university that could work on the analysis.

Meanwhile, people at home could also make their own tea made from citrus peel to get the benefit of hesperidin. Cut the peel into small pieces, or if small fruit is used such as Citrus aurantifolia, the whole fruit can be used. Those pieces then dried in the oven with low heat (50°C) for three days, or just dry them in the room with good air circulation until turning crisp. For tastier drink, honey could be added when served (Baiq Dina).

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