Tanjungpinang (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 Handling Task Force of Riau Islands Province has appealed to people to not panic in facing the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron.

The public needs to increase vigilance to prevent exposure to BA.4 and BA.5, without panicking, the task force's day-to-day chief, Adi Prihantara, said in Tanjungpinang on Saturday.

A panic attack can reduce immunity against the virus or other diseases, he said.

“It is enough to follow the health protocols to prevent ourselves from being exposed to COVID-19 and support the vaccination program,” he said.

The number of people contracting BA.4 and BA.5 in Java, particularly Jakarta, has continued to increase, but the recovery rate is quite high and the mortality rate is relatively low, he noted.

The mobility of people in various regions, including Jakarta and Riau Islands, is quite high. Therefore, the potential for the transmission of BA.4 and BA.5 in Riau Islands will be high if people do not comply with the health protocols, he said.

It seems that many people have forgotten to wear masks in crowded outdoor spaces, he added.

To that end, he reminded residents to continue to wear masks while interacting with other people.

“Riau Islands is still able to control COVID-19 transmission due in part to the improving immunity of the people. Therefore, even if they are exposed to the virus, either without symptoms or with mild symptoms, they can easily recover,” he said.

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Translator: Nikolas Panama, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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