Jakarta (ANTARA) - So far, 143 cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron have been detected in Indonesia through whole-genome sequencing, according to the Health Ministry's spokesperson, Mohammad Syahril.

"Currently, there have been 143 cases of BA.4 and BA.5 (confirmed in Indonesia)," he informed at the "3T Optimization: An Effort to Prevent a New Wave" talk show, which was accessed from here on Thursday.

He then asked the community to remain vigilant against the spread of the new subvariants amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 in the country.

"Regarding the current increase in cases, all of us must be vigilant because there are new subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5," he pointed out.

Syahril affirmed that so far, the number of hospitalized patients and cases of COVID-19-related deaths has remained low because most patients have not experienced severe symptoms.

Nevertheless, he asked people who are at high risk to be vigilant about the transmission of COVID-19.

"We will remain vigilant. People who are at high risk, older adults, elderly, people with comorbidities are our main concern," he said.

The spokesperson informed that the Ministry of Health will continually carry out handling efforts against the spread of COVID-19 through tracing and testing so that infected people can be quarantined or hospitalized without delay.

"With these efforts, we can later reduce the number of existing cases as well as control the hospitalization rate and the death rate from these BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants," he said.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of June 23, 2022, the nation has recorded 6,072,918 COVID-19 cases, 5,904,825 recoveries, and 156,702 deaths.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were first detected in Indonesia in four people in May 2022. The Ministry of Health received the results of the whole-genome sequencing study related to this finding on June 9.

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Translator: Anita Permata, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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