Health Minister Talks of Omicron Symptoms and How to Prevent It



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaIndonesia is again facing a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin asked the public to understand symptoms of the variant of concern to take precautions.

    According to him, Omicron causes mild symptoms such as the common cold, cough, and fever yet with a fast transmission rate. “We will see a fairly high increase in the number of cases in the near future,” said Budi Gunadi in his statement on Thursday, January 27.

    Additionally, the variant has a lower rate of hospitalization and severity than other variants of COVID-19. Thus, Budi added, the number of patients treated at the hospital was fewer than those carrying out self-isolation.

    Budi also explained that the government's strategy in dealing with the Omicron wave was slightly different from the Delta wave, which causes a high severity and so the government prepared many hospital beds.

    “Most of the Omicron cases are OTG or asymptomatic or the symptoms are mild. So the symptoms only include cold, cough, or fever that can actually be cured without the need to be taken to the hospital,” said Budi.

    The government has prepared 70,641 hospital beds for treatment. The national bed capacity amounts to 120,000-130,000. As of January 26, the government recorded 1,988 Omicron cases, and of that number, 765 have recovered.

    The minister further encouraged the public to stay vigilant and careful. Most importantly, he underlined, always wear a mask and avoid crowds because of higher virus transmission. People are also suggested to work from home if possible and stay at home.

    If infected with the Omicron variant, Budi said not to panic, be disciplined to undergo self-isolation, and take vitamins, as well as medicine if presenting mild symptoms. “Those who need to go to the hospital are elderly or people with many comorbidities. And immediately get the vaccine to strengthen the body's immunity to face new variants,” he said.

    Read: Govt Advises to Take Covid-19 Test Once Flu Symptoms Arise