Covid-19: Kelantan records 10 new cases of South African variant

PETALING JAYA: Ten cases of the South African Covid-19 variant have been detected in Kelantan.

The cases belonging to the B1531 variant were connected to individuals who travelled across state borders for a kenduri.

State Government, Health and Housing Committee chairman Dr Izani Husin said the cases were detected after individuals from Kelantan were involved in interstate travel to attend a kenduri in Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking to reporters at his office, Dr Izani said they were shocked by the detection of the South African variant, which was very dangerous.

"Firstly, this is because it has a high rate of transmission and secondly, a lack of local immunity can cause the situation to be far worse if infected compared to the variants here. Now, it is here in Kelantan," he said.

The Health Ministry has detected another 30 new cases Covid-19 variants of concern (VOC) in Malaysia - 27 of the South African variant (B.1.351) and three of the United Kingdom (UK) variant (B.117).

Bernama reported Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba saying the cases were detected through 59 whole genome sequencing conducted between April 24 and May 2 by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR).

"This is also the first report of the South African VOC in Perak and Kelantan, involving some significant clusters with 10 cases in each state. In addition, we are still detecting the variant in Selangor with seven cases.

"For the UK variant, two cases were detected in Selangor and one case in Sandakan, Sabah (first report of VOC in Sabah), involving a non-Malaysian. This is also the first report of the variant among persons without a history of overseas travel, hence, suggesting local transmission, ” he said in a statement on Sunday (May 2).

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