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Health minister warns of Kraken Covid: Rapid transmission but weak

Tempo - January 26, 2023

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Thursday said the Health Ministry is constantly conducting contact tracing of a Polish national who has been declared Indonesia's first confirmed case of the Omicron XBB subvariant, also touted as the Kraken Covid. This variant, he said in a national meeting, has a high transmission rate.

"But [the subvariant] is weak. What does this mean? The hospitalization is not high," said Budi in the Covid-19 transition and economic recovery of 2023 on Thursday, January 26.

The Minister announced the first case of the Kraken Covid in a House of Representatives (DPR) hearing, which was carried out by a Polish citizen who visited Indonesia through Jakarta on January 6. The Individual then traveled to Balikpapan on January 7.

The Kraken variant is a subvariant from Omicron, BA.1, BA.1,5, and BA.5, which then transformed into the XBB. Despite the virus' mutation, Budi Sadikin claimed that community immunity is currently relatively exceptional.

"We hope that the serosurvey results will be out in February, so as long as our population is exceptional, especially the elders who have comorbidities, their immunity is still high, God willing, if there is a new variant, it can be handled," he said.

However, he strongly suggested the public continue the use of face masks, especially in tightly enclosed spaces, and locations where there are elderly people and comorbidities. Budi Gunadi also urged people to take the second booster jab for better protection against the Kraken covid.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1684290/health-minister-warns-of-kraken-covid-rapid-transmission-but-wea