Characteristics Of The Omicron COVID-19 Variant Still Being Researched, But Here's The Possible Danger
Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin (Photo: Ministry of Health)

JAKARTA - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the whole world, especially experts in the field of virology, were still researching the characteristics of the COVID-19 variant type B.1.1.529 or Omicron.

Budi revealed that there are three groups of dangers that are being studied for this Omicron type corona mutation.

In the increasing severity group, to date there has been no indication that Omicron increases the severity of an infected person.

Meanwhile, in the group that increased transmission and then the group lowered antibodies from immunity after vaccination and COVID-19 survivors, Budi said it was most likely that he was correctly identified.

"There are 3 groups of danger, increasing severity, increasing transmission, decreasing the ability of antibodies from infection and vaccination. The first has not been confirmed, the second and third are most likely yes. But again it has not been confirmed because it is being studied by experts," said Budi in virtual press conference, Sunday, November 28.

Based on data as of November 28, 2021, there are 9 countries that have cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 with a total of 128 cases.

The most cases are in South Africa with 99 cases. Then, cases have also been detected in Botswana, England, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Israel, Belgium, and the Czech Republic.

Then, Budi said that there are 4 countries that are likely to be detected by Omicron or probable, namely Belada, Germany, Denmark, and Autria.

"So the positive confirmation cases (Omicron variant) are in 9 countries. Probable cases or there may still be in 4 countries. So we also don't need to panic and rush, and take a non-database policy," said Budi.

Therefore, currently the government has only determined 11 countries of origin for travelers who are prohibited from entering Indonesia, namely South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the government has also extended the quarantine period for international travelers entering Indonesia, outside of the 11 prohibited countries. Previously, the quarantine period was valid for 3 days and now it is valid for 7 days.

"All international arrivals, if they are positive, a whole genome sequencing examination must be carried out. So, we will know whether there is a new variant or not," he said.

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