Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Ministry's spokesperson Mohammad Syahril stated that the Ministry had not yet necessitated the wearing of masks in public spaces in response to the emergence of the Pirola Coronavirus Sub-variant in several countries.

"No need to wear masks because there has not been a spike in cases. All endemic indicators are still under control," he stated when confirmed on Tuesday.

Syahril noted that the BA.2.86, or the Pirola Sub-variant, which has currently emerged in the United States and parts of Europe, has not been detected in Indonesia.

However, he still reminded the public to increase discipline in applying Clean and Healthy Lifestyle and step up vigilance to respond to the emergence of the latest variant of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, speaker of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo pressed for mandating masks to be worn in public spaces to prevent the transmission of the Pirola Sub-variant that was reported to have the potential to trigger the next pandemic.

"I ask the government to re-implement the mandatory wearing of masks, especially in public spaces. We must also tighten supervision and screening at the border entry, especially at airports with a high number of arrival of foreigners," he stressed.

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Soesatyo urged the government to give serious consideration to the Pirola Sub-variant by continuing to monitor developments and the spread of cases.

"That way, the government can take anticipatory measures if the Pirola Sub-variant is close or even detected in Indonesia," he remarked.

The speaker noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) had listed Pirola as a "variant under monitoring."

Soesatyo also encouraged the government to collaborate with experts or virologists to conduct in-depth research on the Pirola Sub-variant to learn the characteristics, level of transmission, preventive methods, and the effects of its mutation amid endemic conditions in the country.

He then reminded the public to be aware of this new sub-variant's transmission by reinforcing health protocols, especially by wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

"These two things are still effective in preventing exposure to various variants of the coronavirus that are currently still mutating," he emphasized.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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