PETALING JAYA: An individual who was detected with the Indian Covid-19 variant (B.1.617) in the country only tested positive for the virus two weeks after arriving here from overseas, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said that the individual, who eventually died of the disease, had arrived in Malaysia on April 7.
Tests conducted on the individual, who is a non-citizen, on April 7 and 12 were negative, said Dr Noor Hisham.
“He was reported to be positive on April 21 when he was brought to the Emergency Department when he was experiencing serious Covid-19 symptoms. His health deteriorated and he died on May 1, ” Dr Noor Hisham said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (May 12) night.
The B.1.617 variant was first detected in India last December, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently classifying it as a "variant of global concern".
It has said preliminary studies show the B.1.617 mutation spreads more easily than other variants, with the variant detected in more than 30 countries.
The South African (B.1.351), United Kingdom (B.117), and Brazilian (P.1) variants have also been classified as variants of concern.
A total of 62 cases of the South African variant, eight cases with the UK variant and two with the Indian variant had been detected so far in Malaysia.
The country is still free of the Brazilian variant.