Dr Noor Hisham: Vietnam Covid-19 hybrid variant not detected in Malaysia

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Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a joint press conference at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya, May 11, 2021. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a joint press conference at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya, May 11, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — The hybrid Covid-19 variant that had been found recently in Vietnam has not been detected in Malaysia, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He was referring to a new Covid-19 strain that is a hybrid between the UK variant identified as B.1.1.7 and the India variant (B.1.617).

He said so far, the hybrid variant has only been reported in Vietnam and not in any other country and that Covid-19 screening will be stepped up to prevent its emergence in Malaysia.

“What we are doing now is to increase border control and screening exercises.

“We have already increased quarantine period for those who come back from countries which have the VOC to 14 days... for countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan the quarantine period if 21 days,” he said during a joint-press conference this afternoon with Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

VOC stands for variants of concern.

According to international news reports, B.1.1.7 was estimated to have been in the UK last September, but was only discovered by British scientists in January 2021.

The Indian variant was identified last October and was responsible for the 60 per cent spike in Covid-19 cases in the western state of Maharashtra.

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