A Bali virologist has predicted that the Omicron Covid-19 variant has been transmitted into the island.
The central government recently confirmed that three Indonesian citizens in Jakarta had contracted the Omicron variant. Subsequently, a virologist from Udayana University, Prof. IGN Kade Mahardika, stated that the Omicron variant has likely entered Bali through the influx of domestic visitors.
“I think the Omicron variant has already been transmitted in Bali,” Prof. Mahardika said during a webinar on Tuesday (21/12).
The central government had previously confirmed that one of the janitors who work at the Wisma Atlet quarantine facility and two Indonesian citizens who arrived from overseas were confirmed positive with the Omicron variant.
Mahardika explained that people in Bali might have possibly contracted the new variant as Bali has been receiving around 25,000 domestic visitors each day.
“This virus could easily spread through our mobility. Meanwhile, our testing method in Indonesia is slow to identify this new variant,” Mahardika added. However, Mahardika claimed that people should not be worried about this new variant as long as all the prevention protocols, such as mask-wearing, are properly implemented.
“We will monitor the transmission while preparing proper medical facilities in anticipation,” Prof. Mahardika concluded.
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