In Indonesia, the positivity rate is below five percent. Nationally, it is now at 1.15 percent, and the highest is in Jakarta, with three percent
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is monitoring the surge in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia based on the findings of four cases of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in Bali Province.

"Currently, Variants under Monitoring (VuM), such as Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, have been circulating. This has triggered an increase in cases in Europe, America, and Asia. It was found in Bali, with four people affected," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin remarked after attending the kick-off for Primary Health Service Integration here, Friday.

The minister later noted that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants have characteristics to evade the immunity formed in a human body by the vaccine and spread rapidly.

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Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 (Stealth Omicron) is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the US. The CDC data shows that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants currently represent up to seven percent of the new COVID-19 cases.

Sadikin remarked that four cases of BA.4 and BA.5 were detected in Bali in May 2022. The results of the Genome Sequencing study related to this finding were received by the Ministry of Health on June 9.

He later noted that the uptick in COVID-19 cases in several countries, including Indonesia, in the last three weeks was caused by a new variant.

"It has nothing to do with the easing during the holiday. It comes from a new variant," Sadikin emphasized.

However, the minister confirmed that the situation during the increase in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia by 31 percent in the last three weeks was still under control based on the two indicators of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

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The two indicators were the positivity rate or the proportion of positive people out of all those tested.

"In Indonesia, the positivity rate is below five percent. Nationally, it is now at 1.15 percent, and the highest is in Jakarta, with three percent," he pointed out.

To this end, the Ministry of Health is striving to prevent an increase in the number of cases in Jakarta by intensifying case tracking and enforcement of health protocols.

The second indicator is community transmission or the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the community.

"The transmission indicator based on the WHO provisions is 20 per 100 thousand population per week. Now, Indonesia is at around one per 100 thousand population," he added.

Sadikin has ensured that the two indicators were still under control in Indonesia. The public need not harbor concerns regarding the current situation.

"The most important aspect now is the booster vaccine (the third dose of vaccine). If you are in a crowded room, then try to keep wearing a mask," he reminded.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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