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Govt increases vigilance following spike in COVID-19 cases in Singapore

Jakarta Post - May 26, 2024

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The Health Ministry is increasing its vigilance against two newly emerged COVID-19 sub variants, KP.1 and KP.2, which are thought to be responsible for a recent spike in cases in neighboring Singapore.

Coronavirus cases in Singapore have almost doubled in recent weeks, with the country reporting 25,900 cases between May 5 and 11, compared with 13,700 cases in the previous week.

The average daily COVID-19 hospitalizations in the city-state increased to about 250 cases in the same period, from 181 the week before. The combined proportion of KP.1 and KP.2 accounts for over two-thirds of all COVID-19 cases there.

Indonesia is closely monitoring the spread of the two emerging variants in other countries but so far has not found any cases of the new variants in Indonesia, Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said on Wednesday.

Syahril said the two emerging variants were descended from the Omicron JN.1 variant, the most common COVID-19 variant currently circulating in the world. Besides Singapore, several other ASEAN countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia have reported KP.1 and KP.2 cases.

"The World Health Organization classified KP.2 as a variant under monitoring earlier this month. However, there are currently no indications that either KP.1 or KP.2 are more transmissible or cause more severe illness than other circulating variants," Syahril said.

"We're closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus as per the WHO's recommendations. All hospitals in the country are ready to face a potential spike in hospitalizations," he added.

Syahril has urged the public to remain vigilant against COVID-19 by implementing health protocols such as washing hands frequently and staying home when sick. He also advised vulnerable groups to get booster vaccinations to strengthen their immune system against the virus.

"COVID-19 has not disappeared yet and we have to learn how to live with it. Although the new variants are not more transmissible or cause more severe symptoms, we need to remain vigilant," he said.

According to the data from the Health Ministry, Indonesia saw an 11.7 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the week of April 29 to May 5, compared with the previous week. Most of the cases were dominated by the Omicron JN.1 variant.

Syahril said that despite the slight increase in cases there had been no increase in hospitalizations or deaths.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/05/26/govt-increases-vigilance-following-spike-in-covid-19-cases-in-singapore.htm