Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has confirmed that a South Tangerang resident, who received the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, has been infected with the Omicron sub-variant XBB 1.5, which is also known as Kraken.

"The patient has been vaccinated three times, with the third vaccine (administered) on February 12, 2022," head of the communication and public service bureau at the ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi informed in Jakarta on Wednesday.

She said that the patient has been identified as a 47-year-old female and a resident of Pamulang, South Tangerang, Banten.

According to Tarmizi, the patient was confirmed to have been infected with the Kraken sub-variant on January 31, 2023, based on the results of PCR and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) tests at the GSI Laboratory.

Based on the finding, the number of Kraken cases detected in Indonesia rose to two, she informed.

On January 11, 2023, a traveler from Poland was detected with the variant while he was in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

A health expert from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Professor Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has described the XBB.1.5 as the most easily transmitted form of Omicron.

"On the other hand, the WHO has also stated that there is no scientific evidence that this Kraken sub-variant could cause more severe disease. Of course, this is still the initial phase of its emergence, we will see its developments in the future," he said.

Aditama, who is also a former WHO Southeast Asia Director of Communicable Diseases, said there is a possibility that the Kraken sub-variant can evade the immunity that has been formed so far from vaccinations and natural infections.

"Indeed, with the existence of the Kraken sub-variant, it is recommended to use masks again in risky situations, for example, on airplanes," he said.

Earlier, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the transmission of the Kraken sub-variant is fast. However, it has been categorized as a weak variant. Thus, the hospitalization rate has not been high.

Related news: Kraken emergence reminder to boost health protocol compliance: Govt
Related news: COVID-19 Kraken sub-variant not yet entered Bali: Official
Related news: Ministry traces close contacts of COVID-19 Kraken variant patient

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023