The effort (to curb BF.7 transmission) is by tightening the whole-genome sequencing surveillance in positive cases
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Health Office tightened whole-genome sequencing (WGS) surveillance to suppress the spread of the Omicron Sub-variant BF.7 in the capital city after the reported five cases were declared recovered.

"The effort (to curb BF.7 transmission) is by tightening the whole-genome sequencing surveillance in positive cases," Jakarta's Head of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Immunization, Ngabila Salama, remarked here on Friday.

The Health Ministry explained that whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is a method to identify the genetic characteristics of the virus.

This method requires extensive resources, both in terms of technology and human resources, and takes four to seven days depending on the protocol used.

WGS examinations in Jakarta are conducted at the Health Ministry, Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Indonesia (UI).

"With WGS surveillance, we can predict the likelihood of (dominant strains) for estimation of peak and decline of cases," Salama remarked.

Nonetheless, Salama said the Jakarta Health Office continues to conduct testing, tracking, and treatment (3T) to accelerate the handling and control of the COVID-19 new sub-variant. The public is advised to not panic but to keep implementing health protocols and complete the COVID-19 vaccination.

"Whatever the variant is, there is no need to panic, everything will be under control by maintaining high booster vaccination coverage to maintain the high immunity of the communities," Salama explained.

On Thursday (December 29), some 15 cases of Omicron BF.7 were reported in Indonesia, of which five were found in Jakarta.

The Jakarta Health Office has conducted close-contact tracing of the five BF.7 cases.

All the five cases had mild symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat, and some experienced anosmia or loss of sense of smell, while some complained of stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting.

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Translator: Dewa W, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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