Jakarta (ANTARA) - Two new coronavirus subvariants, EG.2 and EG.5, are responsible for nearly half the current COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, the Health Ministry has reported.

"From the findings of whole genome sequencing (WGS), the current proportion of EG.2 has reached 20 percent and EG.5 20 percent as well," Director of Health Surveillance and Quarantine at the ministry Achmad Farchanny told a press conference on efforts to tackle COVID-19 during the endemic era in Jakarta on Monday.

The data was received by the ministry on August 7, 2023, based on the results of the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) report, an institution created by the German Government and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to study virus genetic data.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on August 9 also classified EG.5 as a variant of interest (VOI).

The latest variant of the coronavirus has spread rapidly in the United States (US), accounting for more than 17 percent of new infections, he said.

However, the WHO has said that the EG.5 subvariant does not pose any additional risk to public health compared to other variants of COVID-19, he added.

A relatively decreasing trend has been recorded in COVID-19 cases nationally since July 1, with the positivity rate pegged at 0.31 percent and the number of deaths and hospitalizations recorded at zero.

"In 2023, there was an increase in cases in May, and June it already decreased significantly," he informed.

One of the factors that have contributed to the stable COVID-19 trend in Indonesia has been the vaccination program, under which more than 453 million doses have been administered and more than 64 percent of Indonesia's population has received the complete dose of vaccination, Farchanny disclosed.

The results of an antibody serosurvey carried out thrice in Indonesia in the period from 2021 to January 2023 have also shown that almost all Indonesians have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, he added.

"In January 2023, the last serosurvey showed 99 percent antibodies with a range between 98.6 to 99.3 percent," he noted.

He then said that a decline in COVID-19 cases has also been recorded globally.

"Currently, the highest cases are in Europe, followed by the Western Pacific region, such as the United States and others," he added.

Meanwhile, he informed that the highest mortality due to COVID-19 is still being recorded in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

"In general, all cases of treatment and death have decreased," Farchanny added.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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