Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that his ministry is currently tracing the close contacts of the patient of the COVID-19 Kraker variant found in Indonesia.

"Currently, we are conducting (tracing) where the close contacts are," the minister noted after attending the opening of the National Coordination Meeting on COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery (PC PEN) here on Thursday.

Sadikin explained that the Kraken variant patient was found in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The patient is also found to have a recent travel history to Jakarta.

According to the minister, the Kraken variant patient was immediately detected by the government due to the sound surveillance and observation methods in Indonesia.

Kraken is a derivative COVID-19 variant of Omicron. The Ministry of Health detected the case in the country after conducting genome sequencing.

With the entry of the Kraken variant into the country, the community is appealed to not panic. People are also urged to wear masks in crowded rooms or when they are not feeling well.

In addition, the minister stated that community's immunity in Indonesia is already at a relatively good level.

"We are hoping that the (result of) serosurvey will be issued in February 2023. As long as (the immunity of) our population is good, especially if older adults with comorbidities have high immunity, inshallah (if God wills), if there is a new variant, it can be tackled," he stated.

He further noted that the transmission of Kraken is fast. However, Kraken is categorized as a weak variant. Thus, the hospitalization rate is not high, he added.

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 January 25, 2023, the nation has recorded 6,728,676 COVID-19 cases, 6,563,060 recoveries, and 160,795 deaths.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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