KUCHING, Feb 6 — The Omicron variant has now replaced Delta as the dominant circulating Covid-19 variant in Sarawak, said Prof Dr David Perera.

The Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) director said a detection rate of 78 per cent of the Omicron variant had been discovered from surveillance data of positive cases done from January 3 to 26 this year.

He revealed this in his latest report to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas today.

“A total of 58 samples were successfully sequenced over the period. Of these, there were 45 Omicron and 13 Delta variants cases detected,” he said in a statement.

He said the 78 per cent detection rate suggested that Omicron had now replaced Delta as the dominant variant in Sarawak.

He pointed out Omicron cases were detected in samples taken from Kuching, Samarahan, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah and Miri.

Moreover, he said the majority of Omicron cases were of the BA.1.1 lineage but three cases of the more infectious BA.2 lineage were identified in Kapit.

“Most of these cases had happened through community transmission,” he said.

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

He said studies had shown that a booster shot was necessary to boost waning neutralising antibody levels to guard against Omicron variant infection.

Nonetheless, he reminded the public to continue to strictly observe the health standard operating procedures (SOPs) and avoid community gathering, if possible, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

The Institute of Health and Community Medicine from Unimas has been actively tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants circulating in the state since the pandemic began. — Borneo Post