Three new cases linked to military hospital

PUTRAJAYA: Five new Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country, with three local transmissions linked to the Terendak Camp’s military hospital in Melaka. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the three cases were not classified as part of a cluster yet. Two of the patients were found to be positive following pre-surgery Covid-19 screening.

“We have screened about 100,000 individuals in the country before surgeries. In these cases, one of them came in for cataract surgery and the other one for hand surgery.

“Another one is a symptomatic staff member who was screened and confirmed to be positive,” Dr Noor Hisham said at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference here yesterday.

The two other cases involved Malaysians who returned from the Philippines and Egypt.

No death was recorded and with 16 patients discharged yesterday, the country’s active cases have gone down to 177.

The Tawar cluster, which has the highest number of active cases in the country, reported no new cases yesterday. In total, 73 cases were detected in Kedah and Penang since Aug 12, and only 10 patients have recovered.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the Tawar and the Sivagangga clusters were likely to be linked after the Health Ministry found matches between the samples from both clusters.

The ministry’s Institute for Medical Research (IMR) found that samples from the Tawar cluster also have the D614G mutation, an aggressive coronavirus strain.

“From the genomic sequencing that we have conducted, we found that the mutations in the Tawar and Sivagangga clusters are the same. So we need to investigate which patient was the link,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

Prior to this, IMR detected the D614G mutation in the samples of Sivagangga PUI cluster and the Ulu Tiram cluster in Johor.

Dr Noor Hisham previously said the mutation was 10 times more infectious.

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