The global increase in Covid-19 cases is not sparing countries like Indonesia and Singapore, where a notable factor is the emergence of the EG.5 or Eris subvariant. This specific subvariant is causing patients to experience common symptoms associated with Covid-19, with an additional concern being the discovery of allergies in some cases.
Dr. Kristina K. Bryant, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, highlighted this concern, stating, “Some people also say they suffer from allergies.”
It’s worth noting that despite the presence of the EG.5 subvariant, symptoms appear similar to those seen with the previous omicron subvariant. Health reports on December 8, 2023, indicate that common symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and a runny nose are prevalent. However, the once common loss of smell and taste is not as frequently reported.
For those exhibiting symptoms linked to the EG.5 subvariant, health experts recommend undergoing a Covid-19 test and staying vigilant. Furthermore, individuals are urged to receive booster shots regularly as part of the ongoing efforts to combat the evolving landscape of the virus.
In Indonesia, the period from November 28 to December 2, 2023, witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases. The EG.5 variant, known as ‘Eris,’ has become notably prevalent in Jakarta. This surge coincides with a 30 to 40 percent weekly increase in Covid-19 cases in the capital.
Dr. Ngabila Salama, Head of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Immunization Section at the Jakarta Health Department, shared insights, stating, “The EG.4 and EG.5 variants dominate in Jakarta. In the last week from November 27 to December 3, the number of positive COVID-19 cases increased by 30 to 40 percent compared to the previous week.”
Amid the rising cases, the Jakarta Health Department emphasizes the importance of community vigilance and adherence to preventive measures. They urge the public to complete their Covid-19 vaccination doses, including the two recommended booster shots. The vaccines, primarily using inactivated vaccine technology such as Sinovac, remain accessible at community health centers and various healthcare facilities.
Singapore is also grappling with a significant surge in cases, with numbers doubling to 22,094 cases reported in the period from November 19 to 25, 2023. This surge follows the dominance of the EG.5 variant in more than 70 percent of total cases. Both Indonesia and Singapore are intensifying efforts to manage the situation, emphasizing the importance of vaccination and public health measures in mitigating the impact of the evolving virus landscape.