News Desk, Jakarta – The Yogyakarta administration has reported a spike in daily new COVID-19 cases, with nearly 1,000 total active cases as of Tuesday.
Administration spokesperson Ditya Nanaryo Aji said Yogyakarta had recorded 124 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 986.
The representative told Tempo that the province had been seeing more than 50 new cases per day since late October. The administration had recorded less than 50 new daily cases from May through September.
Gunadi, a public health expert at Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University, has called on the government and residents to be vigilant for a potential COVID-19 spike driven by the new XBB subvariant of Omicron.
"We need to remain cautious and uphold health protocols, but we don't need to panic," Gunadi told Tempo.
XBB is said to be the most antibody-evasive subvariant to date, although there is no evidence that it can cause more severe illness in people who have immunity from a previous infection or vaccines.
Some scientists believe XBB is more contagious than BA.5, another Omicron subvariant that triggered a wave of infections in Indonesia in July and August.
According to the Health Ministry, XBB infections are increasing in Singapore with the daily caseload having reached just over a quarter of the peak of the country's BA.5 wave. The subvariant has caused an increase in hospitalizations in Singapore, although deaths remain very low.
So far, XBB has been detected in 26 countries.
According to ministry data, 24 of Indonesia's 37 provinces have reported rises in COVID-19 transmission in the past weeks. The country recorded 4,707 new cases on Tuesday, the first time since early August that the national case tally was above 4,000. (dre)