Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture stated that the implementation of health protocols and COVID-19 vaccination were the key to preventing the spread of the BN.1 subvariant of Omicron.

"The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture reminds again that maintaining the health protocols is essential. The COVID-19 vaccination is essential," the ministry's Deputy for Coordination of Health Quality Improvement and Population Development, Agus Suprapto, stated when contacted here on Friday.

He remarked that currently, the Omicron BN.1 subvariant of COVID-19 had been detected in Indonesia. Thus, the implementation of health protocols and vaccination is necessary.

"The pandemic has not ended. The virus continues to mutate. Thus, the community still needs to increase alertness and improve the implementation of health protocols. Those who have not been vaccinated are appealed to get vaccinated immediately," he remarked.

Suprapto reminded the community to comply with the mask mandate, especially in indoor spaces, in order to curb the risk of disease transmission.

"Wearing masks in a good and correct way can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases, such as tuberculosis and ARI (acute respiratory infection)," he remarked.

He added that older adults must immediately get the fourth dose or second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get optimal protection against the virus.

The Ministry of Health reported that the BN.1 subvariant of Omicron had, so far, reached 20 cases since it was first detected in Riau Islands Province on September 16, 2022.

The ministry's Head of the Communication and Public Service Bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated that the 20 cases of BN.1 comprised nine cases in Jakarta; five cases in Central Java; three cases in Riau Islands; and one case each in North Sumatra, West Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.

According to Tarmizi, the BN.1 subvariant is a sublineage of BA.2.75, which is a derivative of the Omicron variant. The subvariant was first reported in India in late July of 2022.

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Translator: Wuryanti Puspitasari, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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