COVID-19 Variant Omicron, Governor Khofifah: Don't Embrace It, But If There Are Cases Don't Cover It Up
East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa (left) with Malang Regent M Sanusi during a limited meeting in Singosari District, Malang Regency, East Java, Sunday (16/1/2022). (PHOTO ANTARA/Vicki Febrianto)

MALANG - East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa asked all regions in the province to be open if there were findings of positive confirmation cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

"If there are findings of confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the Omicron variant in each region, the regional government is expected to immediately take steps to deal with COVID-19," she said in Malang Regency, as reported by Antara, Sunday, January 16.

"What is actually not serious, don't worry about it. But if there is a case, don't cover it up," she added.

She explained that the East Java Provincial Government together with the regional government had taken steps to anticipate the potential spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus since November 2021.

Therefore, she continued, it is now hoped that with the finding of a positive confirmation case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in East Java, local governments and the public can remain vigilant by implementing strict health protocols.

"So the position of the Omicron variant, we actually have anticipated starting last November. But, don't then suggest that this is a serious thing, I don't think that's the position. But you have to be careful," she said.

She added that this time the conditions were different from the spike in positive COVID-19 confirmed cases in July 2021. At that time, people in East Java had not yet received an injection of the COVID-19 vaccination to create group immunity against the Coronavirus.

"The difference is, last June and July 2021 there was no vaccination. Now the vaccination is running and for Malang Regency general vaccination has reached 84.44 percent," she said.

Therefore, the former Minister of Social Affairs continued, accelerating COVID-19 vaccination is an important thing to do. In Malang Regency, steps to accelerate vaccination for the elderly are also carried out with a door-to-door pick-up scheme.

Then, for children aged 6-11 years, an acceleration of vaccination was also carried out considering that in the East Java region there were three children under the age of six who were exposed to the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus.

"Prudence in nurturing and providing child protection must be strictly maintained," said Khofifar Indar Parawansa.

Meanwhile, until Sunday, January 16 in East Java, there were eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Omicron variant. These findings were detected through a Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) examination from the Institute of Tropical Disease (ITS) Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

While in the Malang Regency area, overall, there were 14,582 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 20 active cases. A total of 13,599 people were reported to have recovered, while 963 people died.

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