Indonesia detects first locally transmitted Covid-19 XBB case

JACARTA, October 22 (The Straits Times / ANN): Indonesia has detected the new XBB strain of the Omicron variant for the first time in the community, and authorities are advising people to abide by health protocols, particularly wearing masks, and to take booster shots.

The first confirmed case caused by the XBB sub-variant was a 29-year-old woman living in Surabaya, East Java, and having a travel history in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Syahril said Saturday.

He showed symptoms, including fever, runny nose, and cough. “She underwent a test and tested positive on September 26,” she said.

The patient was isolated in Surabaya and tested negative for Covid-19 on 3 October.

Also Read :  COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Ease in Many Countries

Ten close contacts were identified by health authorities and all tested negative.

Dr Syahril noted that the XBB sub-variant caused a spike in the number of Covid-19 infections in Singapore and an increase in hospital admissions.

However, he claimed that although XBB is highly transmissible, its mortality rate is no higher than other strains of the Omicron variant.

Indonesia reported 2,087 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number to 6.47 million. There have been 18 deaths in the past 24 hours, for a total of 158,416.

In the past week, the number of new cases has increased in 24 provinces.

Also Read :  The G-20 summit shows how war in Ukraine has paralyzed global politics

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Friday that another spike in Covid-19 cases is expected from January to February.

Dr. Syahril advised the public to take their booster jabs to reduce the risk of illness and death.

Only 64.8 million people, or 27.6 percent of the targeted 234.7 million inhabitants, made the third shot on Saturday, according to the health ministry.

The confirmed case of the XBB sub-variant comes at a time when a number of people are having difficulty getting vaccinated as vaccination centers impose quotas on the number of jabs administered, local media reported. Some centers have even closed temporarily.

Also Read :  Indonesia Going Full Steam Ahead on G20 Summit Preparations

Authorities attributed this problem to vaccine shortages and said it will be resolved by the end of October.

In response to the detection of the new strain, the authorities have stepped up border controls and checks on the arrivals of both Indonesians and foreigners from abroad.

“We are strengthening surveillance on our doorstep, particularly in Batam and Jakarta,” said the head of the communication and public service division of the Ministry of Health, Dr Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Saturday.

He added that all confirmed cases must be examined by whole genome sequencing. – The Straits Times / ANN


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.