Health alert in Sarawak: Detection of Omicron subvariants HK.3 and JN.1 prompts holiday precautions

KUCHING: Covid-19 Omicron subvariant HK.3 and JN.1 have now been detected in several divisions in Sarawak.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Institute of Health and Community Medicine director Professor Dr David Perera said they had detected the subvariant after testing 61 samples obtained from November to December this year.

He said the public is advised to take precautionary measures, especially during the upcoming festive season.

"The dominant Omicron subvariant found is HK.3 at 26 per cent, and JN.1 at 49 per cent.

"The samples were detected mainly in Kuching and Samarahan and a few cases from Sibu," he added.

He said this in the latest report on Covid-19 positive cases monitoring to the Deputy Premier Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also the chairman of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, today.

Dr Perera, however, said the presence of these variants in other parts of the state was still uncertain due to lack of data.

"The JN.1 subvariant was first recorded in the United States in September this year, spread rapidly, and makes up one-third of all the positive cases in the country.

"The JN.1, with increased infectivity and decreased immunisation against various mutations, has led to a surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide.

"Please take all necessary precautions to prevent infection and avoid spreading, especially during the holiday season.

"This is important to protect all, especially those at risk," he said.

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