Malaysia detects seven more cases of Covid-19 variants first found in South Africa, India

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Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a press conference reporting the daily update on the country’s Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health, May 8, 2021. — Bernama pic
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a press conference reporting the daily update on the country’s Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health, May 8, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Seven more Covid-19 infections believed to have originated from the South African and Indian strains of the virus have been detected in Malaysia by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Through a Institute Medical Research (IMR) survey, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement today that 10 samples were collected from May 10 to 14 resulting in seven more Variant of Concern (VOC) cases detected.

“Four local cases infected with the South African variant B.1.351 were detected in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur; and three non-citizen cases were infected with Indian variant B.1.617 (sublineage B.1.617.2),” he said in a statement today.

He added that the total number of Covid-19 cases infected by the South African variant was 66 and the Indian variant five.

In his statement, Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that the government has extended the mandatory quarantine period to 14 days for travellers from countries with VOC transmissions in the community and imposed entry restrictions on non-citizen travellers from India.

Today, Malaysia reported 45 new Covid-19 deaths, the country’s highest daily fatality number so far.

The Health Ministry also recorded 4,446 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 474,556 with 1,947 deaths.

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