KUCHING: The Omicron variant has now replaced the Delta variant as the dominant Covid-19 variant in Sarawak, says a public health expert.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Institute of Health and Community Medicine director Dr David Perera said in his latest report, the detection rate for Omicron from surveillance data of positive cases from Jan 3-26 was 78%.

According to Bernama, the report was given to Sarawak disaster management committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas yesterday.

According to Dr Perera, 58 samples were successfully sequenced over this period and out of these, 45 were from the Omicron variant while 13 were from the Delta variant.

“The 78% 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.

He said the majority were of the BA.1.1 lineage but three cases of the more infectious BA.2 were also identified in Kapit, with most of these occurring through community transmission.

Dr Perera, who is a member of the Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, urged those who had 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.