“COVID-19 cases in Indonesia are increasing due to new variants. There are three new variants, BA2.75, XBB, and BQ1. BQ1 is dominating the cases in Indonesia,” he said in Surabaya on Wednesday.
The new sub-variants are characterized by rapid transmission, which has resulted in a spike in infections, he noted.
“Vaccinated people could be infected quickly. The number of hospitalized patients is slightly higher, above the (hospitalizations caused by the) BA2.75 sub-variant last August,” he added.
Currently, 24 thousand patients are being treated at hospitals, with 10 thousand patients experiencing severe symptoms, Sadikin informed.
“Some 40 percent of patients with severe condition have not been vaccinated or 70 percent of them have not received the booster vaccine, of those, 1,300 have died,” the minister said.
He predicted that COVID-19 cases in Indonesia will continue to soar, adding that the country has entered the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. However, most cases, especially those caused by the new sub-variants, have been detected in big cities.
“Most cases have been found in Bali, Surabaya, and Jakarta. The wave has started to rise now,” he added.
Therefore, he asked people to take the booster vaccine without delay as a form of protection.
According to the minister, basic vaccination and boosters can greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe infection.
“Vaccinated people tend to experience mild symptoms if they are infected. Those who have not must immediately seek booster vaccine,” Sadikin emphasized.
Besides vaccination, people must also follow the health protocols strictly, including wearing masks, amid the increasing COVID-19 cases, he said.
“Because the cases are increasing, please keep on wearing masks. Do not forget to receive booster vaccine for those who have been vaccinated with the second dose,” he added.
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