XBB Variant Covid-19 Cannot Be Detected by Antigen Test

Antigen Test for Covid-19

The Omicron variant which is the cause of the explosion of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, the XBB variant, has recently appeared in Indonesia. The Omicron XBB and XBC variants are even reported to be undetectable by antigen testing. Then, how to detect it?

This is known through the Philippine Department of Health which revealed that the detection of the virus can only be done by sequencing the genome with samples collected from the RT-PCR test.

“We could not detect the viral lineage from the antigen sample,” the agency said, quoted Tuesday (10/25/2022).

Previously, a researcher from OCTA, Guido David, suggested the local government conduct random antigen testing for approved passengers on public transport, especially trains. That way you can get a bigger picture of the presence of two new variants in the country.

A 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.