Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of cases caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could be higher than the peak recorded during the Delta wave last year, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.

"We ask the public to stay calm amid the increasing cases," he appealed while reviewing COVID-19 vaccinations at Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, Bekasi City, West Java Province, on Tuesday.

The spike in Omicron cases in Jakarta and Bali provinces has already exceeded the increase seen during the Delta surge in July 2021, he noted.

"Omicron cases in Jakarta and Bali have risen higher than the cases in last July caused by the Delta variant," he remarked.

An Omicron spike has also been reported in South Tangerang, Banten, Bekasi, and Depok in West Java Province, he informed.

"Currently, cases caused by the Omicron variant, it is higher than the peak of Delta variant in July 2021. Cases in Bekasi have also increased, almost following the peak in July," he said.

However, the number of hospitalized patients and the mortality rate due to the Omicron variant have been less compared to the Delta variant, the minister highlighted.

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Before reviewing COVID-19 vaccinations in Bekasi with National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, Sadikin reviewed COVID-19 handling at Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in Jakarta.

"I checked on how many patients died and how many patients were in the ventilators. Some 60–70 percent of the COVID-19 patients have not completed their vaccination or have not been vaccinated as well. So, please immediately seek a vaccination center for those who have not (been vaccinated)," he said.

Sadikin also emphasized the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and the implementation of health protocols to prevent transmission and reduce morbidity due to the Omicron variant.

"Do not forget to implement strict health protocols, and always wear masks," he advised.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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