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Indonesia Beware of Omicron’s New Variant Virus

Visa4Bali – In October 2021, the Indonesian government has reopened its doors to foreign nationals. This is partly because the government has begun to be able to control and suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For foreign nationals who want to enter Indonesia, they can enter through the island of Bali or the Riau archipelago. But now, after almost 2 years of this pandemic, there has been another variant of the covid-19 virus called the omicron variant.

Recently, the government has also adjusted and reviewed the requirements for foreign nationals who want to enter Indonesia and also Indonesian citizens who have a history of traveling from abroad. The status of covid in Indonesia is currently in a state that can still be controlled. In the sense that there is no increase in the number of contracting the virus and also the government is currently in an effort to prevent the third wave of covid-19 from occurring, where the emergence of a new variant of the Omicron virus.

Based on the news, patients who have been infected with the Omicron variant usually complain of feeling very tired for a day or two. Other symptoms include headaches, the whole body feels very sore and the throat is hoarse.

However, the patients did not cough and did not lose their sense of smell and taste like the previous variants of the COVID-19 virus. From the data that already exists and is obtained, many patients come from among young people and the symptoms caused are mild.

Those contaminated patients are mostly those who have not been vaccinated or have just received the first dose of vaccine. This is also proof that those who have received two doses of vaccine or booster are a powerful way to deal with COVID-19 against the new virus or other variants. In South Africa, almost all Omicron patients are under 40 years of age.

Then is it true that people who have received the vaccine, whether it’s the first dose or have received 2 doses of the vaccine, will be safe from the virus variant from COVID-19? In Indonesia, it can be said that 67 people out of 100 people have received the vaccine.

But it is still far from safe. However, the relationship between vaccination rates and the emergence of new variants is not that simple. Vaccination is able to reduce transmission rates and reduce the possibility of severe illness so that the virus is less likely to replicate. For this reason, currently Indonesia has nothing to do with the emergence of new variants, but because the transmission rate is very small, the case is sloping, the reproduction rate and positivity rate are low, the possibility of the virus multiplying is smaller.

Therefore, the level of transmission must be suppressed to reduce the possibility of the emergence of new dangerous variants that may later become the cause of the third wave.

How are variants of the Omicron virus detected?

Indonesia’s ability to perform sequencing is better than at the beginning of the pandemic, this was revealed by the Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi. And to detect this omicron virus, one needs to do a PCR test. Then the test will see 3 genes related to the viral part, namely spike (S), nucleocapsid (N2) and outer shell (E). If there is no S part in the test, then the possibility of the amicron virus does not exist. But to be more certain, it is necessary to do a full gene analysis to confirm the test results.

Currently, there are a total of 17 laboratories networked with the Ministry of Health for WGS examination. The government hopes that the genome sequencing in the laboratory can speed up the processing time. What was originally two weeks, will be reduced to five days, or even reduced to three days.

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