COVID: Omicron now the dominant circulating variant in Sarawak

Credit: WHO
06/02/2022 05:12 PM

KUCHING, Feb 6 -- The Omicron variant has now replaced the Delta variant as the dominant circulating COVID-19 variant in the state, 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 the detection rate of 78 per cent of the Omicron had been discovered from the surveillance data of positive cases from Jan 3 to 26, this year.

According to Dr David, 58 samples were successfully sequenced over the period and out of these, 45 from the Omicron and 13 Delta variants of concern were detected.

“The 78 per cent detection rate suggests that Omicron has replaced Delta as the dominant circulating variant in Sarawak," he said, adding that the Omicron cases were detected in samples taken from Kuching, Samarahan, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah and Miri.

Dr David said the majority were of the BA.1.1 lineage but three cases of the more infectious BA.2 were identified in Kapit and most of these cases occurred through community transmission.

In light of the increasing number of cases in the country, Dr David who is a member of Sarawak COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (SCoVAG), advised those who have yet to get their booster dose to do so immediately.

Studies, he said, had shown that a booster shot was necessary to boost waning neutralising antibody levels to protect from Omicron infection.

He also reminded the people to continue complying strictly with the health standard operating procedure (SOP) and to avoid community gatherings if possible to prevent further spread of the virus.

The IHCM of UNIMAS has been tracking the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the state.