JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesia detected a case of the Covid-19 Kraken subvariant, or XBB 1.5, as it had infected a Polish traveler while visiting Balikpapan City in East Kalimantan province.
"So far, only one case of Kraken [subvariant] has been reported in Indonesia," the head of the communication and public services bureau of the ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi said on Thursday, Jan. 26.
However, according to a report received by the ministry, the Polish citizen had also visited another city.
The XBB 1.5 subvariant was detected on Jan. 11, using the genome sequencing method at a government laboratory facility.
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The patient arrived in Jakarta on Jan. 6 and then headed to Balikpapan City on the following day.
Nadia said that the results of the rapid antigen test of the foreigner, which was taken on Jan. 7 as a travel requirement to the city, had shown negative results.
However, when the Polish citizen was about to board a ship in Balikpapan City on Jan. 11, the result of their PCR test was positive.
"The patient is asymptomatic," the Health Ministry's official said.
Earlier, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the Kraken subvariant was a derivative of the Omicron subvariant.
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He said that the new sub-variant can be transmitted quickly, but it has a low ability to cause death or hospitalization in patients.
"We have seen that the subvariant has been found in the United States, and it has such characteristics," he said.
Hence, the minister advised the public to not conduct any activity outside when they feel unwell as well as to wear masks in crowded locations.
He also urged the community to get the booster vaccination, as the new subvariant could cause mild symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, 5,288 cases of XBB 1.5 had been reported from 38 countries between October 22, 2022, and Jan. 11.
Most of these cases were detected in the United States, reaching 82.2 percent; the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, 8.1 percent; as well as Denmark, 2.2 percent.
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