Jakarta. BA.4 and BA.5 have become the dominant Covid-19 variants in Indonesia where the number of new cases picks up growth again, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Monday.
"I need to explain that 81 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Indonesia are BA.4 and BA.5 variants, so it’s not the case of Jakarta alone. In Jakarta, 100 percent of cases are BA.4 and BA.5," Budi said after a cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta.
He claimed that the latest wave of Covid-19 infections caused by the new subvariants of Omicron remains under control.
"Our message is the same: mask wearing is mandatory in indoor activities but you can put off masks in outdoor settings as long as you don’t get into a crowd. If you are ill, keep wearing a mask,” Budi said.
The minister also encourages people to get the booster dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 ahead of the Islamic holidays of Idul Adha this weekend.
Nearly 170 million Indonesian citizens have received double doses of the vaccine but only around 50 million took the booster dose already.
Indonesia reported the first local transmission of the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in Jakarta on June 13.
The BA.4 and BA.5 are believed to be less likely to result in hospitalization or death compared to Delta and Omicron.
The minister has said that the country will likely see the new sub-variants peak in the second or third week of this month.
Indonesia recorded 1,614 new cases on Sunday, bringing the national tally to 6.09 million cases since the pandemic began. The total number of active cases stands at 16,919, according to Health Ministry data.
Covid-19 has killed 156,749 people in Indonesia since the first cases were reported in March 2020.