Jakarta (ANTARA) - Government spokesperson for COVID-19 Handling, Reisa Broto Asmoro, has asked the community to strengthen health protocol compliance as COVID-19 cases are showing an increasing trend again worldwide.

"If we look at them (COVID-19 positive cases) globally, unfortunately, they are rising again. Indeed, we can connect it (the rise in cases) with the new variant, which is currently spreading and being found in many countries, namely the XBB variant," she said at a health broadcast, which was followed online on Monday.

According to Asmoro, the global rise in COVID-19 cases has been linked to the emergence of the new Omicron sub-variant XBB, which has been identified since August 2022.

Vigilance through health protocols must be strengthened because the XBB has entered Indonesia and also caused a surge in cases in several neighboring countries, such as Singapore, proving that COVID-19 is still a threat to Indonesia.

"We must be more careful. If we want to curb XBB transmission in Indonesia, of course, we must keep in mind the health protocols," Asmoro said.

Besides implementing the health protocols, the community must remain alert to the level of transmission risk in the environment around them, she added.

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The easing of restrictions should not become a reason for people to underestimate COVID-19, which could lead to a surge in infections in the country, she said.

Asmoro further noted that even though viral mutations are natural and increasingly show the virus's weakness, the potential for dangerous transmission can still occur at any time. Thus, they cannot be ignored.

"Please be careful again so that we do not get infected and infect other people. Let's strengthen the health protocols for the time being until we can estimate the condition," she 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 October 30, 2022, the nation has recorded 6,490,622 COVID-19 cases, 6,307,481 recoveries, and 158,597 deaths.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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