Health Minister: Indonesia is Better Prepared in Coping with BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron Subvariants
Indonesia is better prepared to cope with BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants wave than a number of countries in the regions of Europe, America, and Asia thanks to a better discipline on health protocol and vaccination, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.
“Indonesia is relatively better in coping with BA.4 and BA.5 wave because with a very large population, the Indonesian people are more disciplined in implementing health protocol and vaccination,” the Health Minister said in a press statement, on Monday (07/04), at the Presidential Office, in Jakarta, after the Cabinet Limited Meeting on the Evaluation on Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) led by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
The Health Minister revealed that the increasing number of the cases in Indonesia is relatively low although BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants have been dominating more than 80 percent of the variants that have been tested with genome sequencing. Budi added that based on the observation on Delta and Omicron variants waves, the case decrease will happen when the domination of the variant reaches almost 100 percent. “Currently, we also see that the case starts to slow down although it has increased, be it in Jakarta or in Indonesia,” he added.
The number of cases that are far lower than the previous wave, the Health Minister said, is triggered by the people’s high level antibody.
“The last Sero survey held in last March showed that our antibody level is still high. So, if in last December, our Sero survey showed that 88 percent of the population has antibody approximately at the level of 400 or 500. In last March, our Sero survey showed that 99 percent of the population has already had antibody at the level of around 3,000 to 4,000, so it is way higher,” he said.
The Health Minister said that in the near time, the Ministry of Health will conduct another Sero survey that will serve as the basis for formulating policies on health protocol and vaccination. “Hopefully, we can obtain the result within a month, so we can make the right decision on health protocol and vaccination.
Concluding his press statement, the Health Minister called on the people to implement health protocol consistently, particularly using masks according to the Government’s rule. He also called on the people to receive the third vaccination or the booster because it is proven to increase the level of antibody against COVID-19.
“Bapak President has called on all the people to stay vigilant over the increasing case in other countries. The pandemic has not over yet,” he remarked. (FID/UN)(AW/MUR)