First Omicron Variant Detected in Indonesia

Photo: Setkab

Jakarta, MINA – Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin announced on Thursday the findings of the first case of omicron variant in Indonesia.

The first case of Omicron was detected in a janitor with the initials N who works at the Covid-19 Emergency Hospital (RSDC) Wisma Atlet Kemayoran Jakarta.

“The Ministry of Health has detected an Omicron confirmed patient on December 15, we have confirmed the data with GISAID (an independent agency that reports virus variants) and it has been re-confirmed from GISAID that this data is indeed Omicron sequenced data,” said the Minister of Health in a press statement.

The Minister detailed that the cleaning staff of the Wisma Athlete were taken routinely on December 8, 2021. The results of the examination came out on December 10, 2021, it was found that 3 people were confirmed positive for Covid-19.

The three samples were then sent to Balitbangkes for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). The results of the sample examination came out on December 15 and found 1 out of 3 samples confirmed positive for the Omicron variant.

“There are 3 cleaners at the Wisma Atlet RSDC who tested positive for the PCR, but one person confirmed positive for Omicron,” he explained.

All of them have now been quarantined at Wisma Altet. All three are in good health, with no symptoms, no cough, and no fever. The results of the PCR examination were also negative.

In addition to the findings of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health also identified 5 probable cases of Omicron. The five have been quarantined and a special examination has been carried out which has been sent by Balitbangkes. The results will be known in 3 days to see if the sample is positive for omicron or not.

“With the SGTF special examination, we detected 5 cases of probable omicron, 2 cases of Indonesian citizens who had just returned from the UK and the US, 3 other foreigners (foreign citizens) from China who went to Manado who are now quarantined in Manado,” he added.

The Minister of Health said that the deployment of Omicron proved to be very fast. In England, for example, from 10 cases/day, it has now reached 70,000 cases/day. This is much higher than the peak of cases in Indonesia in July at 50,000 cases/day.

Regarding this finding, Minister of Health Budi appealed to the public not to panic and remain calm. The most important thing is to immediately vaccinate Covid-19, especially for vulnerable groups and the elderly and do not need to travel abroad if it is not urgent, and continue to enforce the 5M health protocol, and strengthen the 3T.

“The arrival of new variants from abroad, which we identified in quarantine, shows that our defense system against the arrival of new variants is quite good, we need to strengthen it. So it’s natural to have to stay 10 days in quarantine. The aim is not to make it difficult for people to come, but to protect all Indonesian people,” he added. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)