BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants Are Predicted to Be as Severe as Delta

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The Covid-19 storm seems to be hitting Indonesia again. This is because the virus positive rate continues to increase after the emergence of the Omicron, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants. This subvariance is even said to be as severe as Delta.

An epidemiologist from Griffith University Dicky Budiman explained that BA.5’s ability to infect is actually the same as the Delta variant, maybe even more.

In particular, when BA.5 infects people who have absolutely no immunity or have decreased immunity to the Coronavirus.

“This Omicron BA.5 subvariant needs to be very wary of because its ability to infect with fusogenicity and its potential severity is at least the same as Delta or it could be more when dealing with people who have no immunity at all or have decreased immunity,” said Dicky, quoted on Sunday. (12/5/2022).

The expert also found that the reinfection ability of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants was quite high. This means that both subvariants are very likely to infect people who have been vaccinated against or have been exposed to COVID-19.

“Even those who have been infected by BA.1, BA.2, or BA.3 can be infected again by BA.4 BA.5. That’s the ability of BA.4 BA.5,” he explained.

According to Dicky, although there are no symptoms or mild symptoms, the growth rate of the number of BA.4 and BA.5 cases is currently in the range of 12 to 13 percent. This means, that if there is no adequate mitigation effort, there is the potential for this BA.4 and BA.5 subvariance to create a new wave.

“For example, PPKM is revoked, vaccinations are down, and people’s behavior in wearing masks is also bad. In two weeks it can be dominant and can cause an increase in the number of infected cases,” he explained.

Furthermore, although the Covid-19 transmission rate continues to increase, the Minister of Health urges the public not to panic too much. This is because the government can still control the pandemic, unlike in the first year.

As previously reported, Mohammad Syahril as Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health appealed to the public not to panic in facing this condition.

According to him, the increase in cases that occurred in the last few weeks was influenced by the emergence of new variants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.

“The rise and fall of this case are because we are still in the COVID-19 pandemic phase,” said Syahril in an online discussion held by the Merdeka Barat 9 Forum, Thursday (16/6/22).

However, he is optimistic that the government will be able to control conditions so that there will not be a significant spike. So that it doesn’t happen like the spike in cases of omicron and delta variants a few months back.

He added that the average positive number of the spike in cases of this new variant of Covid-19 in Indonesia was still below the WHO standard. Meanwhile, the WHO standard is 5 percent.