COVID-19 Subvariants Still Under Gov’t Surveillance
Under level 1 (public activity restrictions) pandemic situation, the Government has announced it is still in full awareness to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement was made by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto in his press statement after attending limited cabinet meeting on public activity restriction (PPKM) evaluation led by the President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday (18/07).
“The spread of Omicron subvariants of BA.4 and BA.5 are still under surveillance by the Government. Transmission level among public is up to 8,25 people per 100 thousand. Thus, according to WHO we are still at level 1 due to the fact that its maximum limit is 20 per 100 thousand,” Airlangga said.
Airlangga added that the nationwide Rt (virus’s actual transmission rate at a given time) rate has been in a downtrend in the past three weeks.
“The Rt rate has been going downward in the past three weeks from 1.27 to 1.26, and 1.24. All islands’ Rt are still above 1. Outside Java-Bali area are as follows: Sumatra at 1.29, East Nusa Tenggara-Kalimantan-Sulawesi at 1.18, Maluku at 1.08,” the Coordinating Minister said.
Airlangga added that the highest increasement of daily cases is reported in the islands of Java and Bali that contribute 95 percent to daily cases nationwide.
Regions outside Java-Bali have a very low daily cases increasement and the trend is relatively going downward, he added.
“Outside of Java-Bali area, cases are relatively low and decreasing. North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and Central Kalimantan,” he remarked.
Based from COVID-19 situation assessment data per 16 July 2022, Airlangga as the PPKM coordinator said there are cities/regencies outside Java-Bali area with rising public transmission level, namely Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. The other 385 cities/regencies are at the level 1 public transmission, he added.
“(Beside daily cases increasement), BOR (bed occupancy rate) or isolation rooms are still at an adequate level,” Airlangga said.
Airlangga also underscored that there are two regions outside Java-Bali with under 70 percent COVID-19 vaccines distribution, namely the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
“From vaccines distribution data, West Papua and Papua are still under 70 percent (1st dose). For the 2nd dose, 10 provinces are under 70 percent. For the 3rd dose, there are 28 provinces that still under 30 percent,” he mentioned.
Only Sorong in West Papua is still implementing level 2 PPKM based on evaluation results, he added.
“Through evaluation results, regions outside of Java-Bali overall will still be under PPKM level 1 until the end of the month as we have decided. Only Sorong and Papua Barat are still at level 2,” he remarked.
In the meantime, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are capable to penetrate vaccines (vaccination evasion), adding that those subvariants are believed to be able to penetrate twice or thrice more effective than Omicron BA.1 variant; hence, the probability of the people to be infected are higher even though they have been vaccinated.
“We informed the President that hospitalization and its fatality are still high. Therefore, we urge the public to get their booster shots as soon as possible. Boosters are proven capable to protect us and could effectively lower fatality level,” the Minister remarked.
The Gov’t are also observed the BA.2.75 variant that had spread in several countries. (DND/TGH/UN) (AS/EP)