KUCHING: As of September this year, Sarawak is still free of the Covid-19 sub-variant Omicron XBB.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has assured that monitoring is ongoing by the Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
IHCM has been tracking the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the state as a part of a national monitoring programme.
Uggah had earlier received the latest Covid-19 positive cases and monitoring from IHCM director Prof Dr David Perera.
Prof Perera stated that a total of 463 samples obtained from positive cases statewide were successfully sequenced from July 14 to Sept 27 this year.
“All samples that were detected as the B.1.1.529 Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC).
“From these, a total of 402 samples were detected as the BA.5, three cases of the BA.4.1 (two cases from Kuching and one from Sibu), and 58 cases of the BA.2 which included three cases of the BA.2.75 sub lineages (one case from Kuching and two from Sibu).”
He added that no cases of highly resistant BA.2.75.2 sub-lineage were detected.
“As such, since our last monitoring report in July, the Omicron BA.5 has now emerged as the most dominant SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Sarawak.
“It accounted for approximately 97 per cent of all positive cases detected in September.”
Prof Perera strongly advised the public to be aware of the heightened risk of increased infection rates in the state.
“Please consider getting a booster dose if you have not done so, particularly for individuals with comorbidities, those above 50 years old and those who had previously received only a single dose of the mRNA vaccine.”