Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Health Dante S. Harbuwono spoke of his side continually monitoring the development of characteristics of the new Omicron variant in order to suppress local transmission occurring outside Java-Bali.

"We continue to conduct epidemiological analysis based on the existing cases. We identify the existing cases based on the agglomeration area," he noted during the talk show on anticipating a spike in the number of Omicron cases outside Java-Bali, Wednesday.

Responding to several regions projected to witness a peak in the number of Omicron cases in the third week of February, Harbuwono remarked that the government will continue to conduct studies and analyze the COVID-19 situation in the country.

The analysis is carried out by conducting scientific epidemiology and using related supporting data as a basis. In this case, the government will conduct a classification of Indonesia's territory based on the areas within and outside Java-Bali.

The area classification will also serve as a map for the government to observe the distribution of Omicron transmission in various regions since local transmissions are starting to experience a shift in trends outside Java-Bali, he explained.

Earlier, 90 percent of the distribution of Omicron cases had been observed in the Java-Bali area and some 72 percent of local transmissions occurred in that region. However, currently, the trend of local transmission outside Java-Bali has reached 28 percent, he pointed out.

“This local transmission then expands to areas outside Java and Bali. It is not impossible that when cases in Java and Bali start to decline, then local transmission in areas outside Java-Bali will increase," he noted.

The Indonesian government decided to conduct area classification since Indonesia is the largest archipelagic nation where mobility and population distribution have a bearing on inter-island population transmission.

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In addition to observing the condition of the area based on epidemiology, Harbuwono conveyed that the government also continues to intensify the dissemination of education on sustainable health protocols in the community.

Meanwhile, to reduce the severity of the Omicron variant, the government continues to expand COVID-19 vaccinations and tighten supervision and regulate self-isolation or centralized isolation.

"That way, we can handle the Omicron variant based on its characteristics," Harbuwono said.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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