The Covid-19 virus continues to mutate. This time, the Omicron subvariant that caused the Covid-19 cases spike in Singapore, the XBB variant, is detected in Indonesia. As early prevention, the Ministry of Health asks the public to obey health protocols. Then, how dangerous is this variant?
It is stated, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Mohammad Syahril, said that as many as 24 countries had reported findings of the XBB variant of Omicron, including Indonesia.
The increase in XBB cases in Singapore is even faster than the previous variants, namely BA.5 and BA.2.
“The increase in cases of the XBB wave in Singapore is fast and has reached 0.79 times the BA.5 wave and 0.46 times the BA.2 wave,” said Syahril in a press release, Saturday (10/22/2022).
The first case of XBB in Indonesia was a local transmission, detected in a 29-year-old woman who had just returned from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
“There are symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and fever. He then underwent an examination and tested positive on September 26. After undergoing isolation, the patient has been declared cured on October 3, “explained Syahril.
Following this finding, the Ministry of Health rushed to take anticipatory efforts by testing and tracing 10 close contacts. As a result, all close contacts tested negative for the XBB variant of Covid-19.
Although the new XBB variant spreads quickly, Syahril said the fatality was no more severe than the Omicron variant. However, the country cannot be said to be safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, various mutations of new variants still have the potential to continue to occur. In the last seven days also reported an increase in cases in 24 provinces.
He then asked the public to prioritize health protocols such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds, washing hands, and doing testing if they experience symptoms of Covid-19.
“Immediately do a booster for those who haven’t, to reduce morbidity and mortality due to Covid-19,” he explained.
The Ministry of Health has also increased supervision of the arrival of Indonesian citizens and foreigners at the country’s entrances.
On the other hand, former WHO officials encouraged the Indonesian government to immediately provide a new type of Covid-19 vaccine, namely the bivalent vaccine.
Director of the Postgraduate Program at YARSI University, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said that many countries have used bivalent vaccines for their people. Two countries that also provide the vaccine are Singapore and Australia.
“We know that bivalent vaccines are different from the vaccines we currently use in Indonesia, bivalent is the latest development of the Covid-19 vaccine that can provide protection against old variants and also the current Omicron variant,” said Tjandra, who is the former Director of Infectious Diseases. WHO Southeast Asia, quoted in an official statement, Monday (24/10).