COVID: Omicron now the dominant variant in Sarawak

KUCHING, Feb 11 — The COVID-19 Omicron variant has completely replaced the Delta variant as the dominant form in Sarawak, said Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) director, Dr David Perera.

In his latest report to Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today, he revealed that a total of 77 samples of positive cases were successfully sequenced from Jan 20 to Feb 6.

“All samples were identified as the Omicron variant to indicate a 100 per cent detection rate (of this variant) in Sarawak.

“This indicates the Omicron (variant) has now completely replaced the Delta variant and has become the single dominant variant circulating in the state,” he said, adding that Omicron cases were detected in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

“Of the Omicron samples sequenced, 71 were identified as the BA.1.1 lineage, three as BA.1 and the other three as the highly infectious BA.2 lineage (detected in Sibu, Miri and Kuching),” he said.

Dr David, a member of the Sarawak COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, advised the public to immediately get their booster shots following the dramatic increase in positive cases nationwide.

“Studies have shown that a booster shot is necessary to improve waning neutralising antibody levels to protect from Omicron infection and hospitalisation.

“Additionally, public health SOPs need to be strictly adhered to and community gatherings avoided, if possible, to prevent further community spread,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency