The patient is asymptomatic.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry reported that a case of the COVID-19 Kraken subvariant, or XBB 1.5, was detected in Indonesia, as it had infected a Polish traveller while visiting Balikpapan City, East Kalimantan Province.

"So far, only one case of Kraken (subvariant) has been reported in Indonesia," Head of the Communication and Public Services Bureau of the ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi stated on being confirmed on Thursday.

However, according to a report received by the ministry, the Polish citizen had also visited another city.

The XBB 1.5 subvariant was detected on January 11, 2023, using the genome sequencing method at a government laboratory facility.

The patient arrived in Jakarta on January 6, 2023, and then headed to Balikpapan City on the following day.

Tarmizi noted that the results of the rapid antigen test of the foreigner -- which was taken on January 7, 2023, as a travel requirement to the city -- had shown negative results.

However, when the Polish citizen was about to board a ship in Balikpapan City on January 11, 2023, the result of their PCR test was positive.

"The patient is asymptomatic," the Health Ministry's official noted.

Earlier, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that the Kraken subvariant was a derivative of the Omicron subvariant.

He noted that the new sub-variant can be transmitted quickly, but it has low ability to cause death or hospitalization in patients.

"We have seen that this subvariant has been found in the United States, and it has such characteristics," he stated.

Hence, the minister advised the public to not conduct any activity outside when they feel unwell as well as to wear masks in crowded locations.

He also urged the community to get the booster vaccination, as the new subvariant could cause mild symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, 5,288 cases of XBB 1.5 had been reported from 38 countries between October 22, 2022, and January 11, 2023.

Most of these cases were detected in the United States, reaching 82.2 percent; the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 8.1 percent; as well as Denmark, 2.2 percent.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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