Omicron EG.5 Causes Surge in Covid-19 Cases, Weekly Cases Soar by 134%!


In recent updates from the Indonesian Ministry of Health (Kemenkes), a concerning surge in Covid-19 cases caused by Omicron EG.5, across the country has been reported, notably affecting 21 provinces in the past few weeks. The weekly count of confirmed cases has skyrocketed by a staggering 134 percent.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, Head of the Communication and Public Service Bureau at the Indonesian Ministry of Health, shared insights, stating, “Kemenkes has issued a Circular on Increasing Vigilance against the Surge in Covid-19 Cases.”

Breaking down the situation by provinces, areas such as Banten, Yogyakarta, DKI Jakarta, West Java, and others are witnessing a notable increase in cases. Similar patterns are observed in provinces like Riau, Lampung, East Nusa Tenggara, and others.

The national outlook reveals a substantial weekly increase, with 554 positive cases reported as of December 9, 2023. The surge in cases has been noticeable since the 41st week, starting from October 8-14, 2023, with weekly confirmed cases escalating by 134 percent.

Turning attention to the nature of the virus, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin shed light on the dominant subvariant, Omicron EG.5. He highlighted that this variant, prevalent in the current cases, is predominantly brought in by travelers returning from international destinations.

Budi Gunadi Sadikin emphasized, “Where does it come from? Mainly from international travel. The reality is that this variant spreads rapidly, but its fatality rate is very low.”

Identifying specific subvariants, namely Omicron EG.1 and EG.5, entering Indonesia through travelers from neighboring countries, Kemenkes identified five nations with the highest recent case numbers. Thailand leads with 539 cases, followed by India with 293, Iran with 292, Afghanistan with 129, and Morocco with 116.

As of today, Thursday (14/12/2023), Indonesia has reported 359 new Covid-19 cases. Out of these, 79 individuals have successfully recovered, while the total active cases stand at 1,449. Minister Budi underscored that the EG subvariant exhibits rapid transmission characteristics but poses a low risk of mortality.

“That’s why very few people entering the hospital end up dying. Even if they do, it’s not really due to Covid-19, but due to other diseases. But when tested, it turns out they are positive,” he explained.

In light of these developments, Budi urged international travelers returning to Indonesia to prioritize their health and undergo PCR testing, especially if they exhibit symptoms. As the nation navigates these challenging times, the government remains committed to providing information and implementing measures to safeguard public health.