Covid-19: Seven More Cases of Variants Detected

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven more cases linked to Variants of Concern (VOC) have been identified through a genomic surveillance conducted by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) on 10 Covid-19 samples between May 10 and May 14.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said four of the cases involved Malaysians who contracted the South African B.1.351 variant in Kuala Lumpur while three other cases were of foreigners who had contracted the Indian B.1.617 (a sublineage B.1.617.2) variant.

“To date, 66 Covid-19 cases have been infected with the South African B.1.351 variant while five cases have contracted the Indian B.1.617 (including sublineage B.1.617.1 dan B.1.617.2) variant,” he said in a statement today.

The 66 cases involving the South African variant, he said, were detected from the Jalan Lima Cluster (four cases), Kebun Baru cluster (nine), Teknologi Emas cluster (three), Jalan Canning Estate cluster (10), Kampung Bunut Sarang Burung cluster (10), Kampung Domis cluster (seven), Bangkahulu cluster (one), Bayan Cenderawasih cluster (one), close contact screening (19, including three new cases), one post-Covid-19 vaccination case and one new case from screening of symptomatic individuals.

Meanwhile, two of the cases involving the Indian variant were identified through screening at international entry points and one case was detected through screening of symptomatic individuals.

“All three cases had a travel history to India. The total number of Indian B.1.671 (including sublineage B.1.617.1 dan B.1.617.2) variant cases in the country currently stands at five,” he said.

Since April 28, said Dr Noor Hisham, the Health Ministry had extended the mandatory quarantine period for all travellers from countries with VOC transmissions to 14 days.

Since May 7, the government had barred non-Malaysian travellers from India to enter the country due to the highly virulent Indian variant.

“The ministry will continue to heighten infectious disease control activities through epidemic surveillance, strategic Covid-19 sccreenings, conducting contact tracing and public health measures to deter the spread of the variants in the community.

“The people are advised to continue to be vigilant and adhere to the various advice stressed by the ministry,” said Dr Noor Hisham.


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