People urged to get COVID-19 booster amid increase in cases

People urged to get COVID-19 booster amid increase in cases

Spokesperson for the Health Ministry, Mohammad Syahril, at an online press conference, which was followed from Jakarta on Friday (November 4, 2022). (ANTARA PHOTOS/ Zubi Mahrofi/my)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has urged people to take the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without delay amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases due to the emergence of new sub-variants in Indonesia.

"This is a note for all of us that the pandemic still lingers around us, and there are 28 countries that have experienced an increase in cases, including Singapore. This is related to the new sub-variants XBB and XBB.1," spokesperson for the ministry, Mohammad Syahril, said here on Friday.

Based on data from the ministry, as of November 3, 2022, at least 30 provinces have recorded an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week, while four other provinces have experienced a decline in cases.

According to the ministry's COVID-19 Daily Report, the four provinces that have recorded a decline in confirmed cases are Bengkulu, Jambi, West Papua, and Gorontalo. The rest have witnessed an increase in the infection trend.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 4,951. In the past four days, the number of cases has increased from the 4,700s to 4,900s.

Syahril said that the increase in cases has not been too high as compared to when the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants had emerged. Still, people must remain cautious, he added.

So far, only 27.62 percent of the targeted recipients have taken the third dose or booster vaccination. "It's still far from the 50 percent target. People who have received the first dose of vaccination are 87 percent and 73 percent for the second dose," he noted.

"Indeed, the booster (vaccination rate) is still far from the 50 percent target for many reasons. We will pursue booster vaccination once more because we believe that vaccination is an effort to offer protection to the community," he added.

Syahril said that increasing the booster vaccination rate is a part of the government's strategy to control the spread of COVID-19.

There are six measures that Indonesia has taken to end the pandemic, he noted. Besides booster vaccinations, efforts are being made to improve public awareness on following the health protocols.

"Health protocols are a requirement, don't abandon it just yet. This is part of our protection and prevention. Stay cautious, but don't panic," he said.

The Health Ministry recently distributed 5 million Pfizer booster doses to some areas in need of the vaccines. In addition, IndoVac's domestically produced vaccines are ready to be distributed to vaccination centers. 

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