PETALING JAYA: Seven more Covid-19 cases in Malaysia were found linked with variants of concern (VOC), says the Health Ministry.
Its director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said these new cases were linked to the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa and the B.1.617 variant in India.
“Following genomic surveillance conducted by the Institute of Medical Research on 10 Covid-19 samples from May 10 to 14, seven more cases linked to VOC have been identified.
“There are four local cases linked to the South African B.1.351 variant in Kuala Lumpur.
“There are also three cases involving foreigners, which are linked to the B.1.617 Indian variant (sublineage B.1.617.2), ” he said in a statement on Monday (May 17).
To date, he added, there were 66 cases linked to the South African B.1.351 variant and five cases linked to the Indian B.1.617 variant.
For the South African B.1.351 variant, it was found in some local clusters such as the Jalan Canning Estate cluster and the Kampung Bunut Sarang Burung cluster.
Some 19 cases linked to this variant were detected through close contact screening.
For the Indian variant, its sublineage B.1.617.2 was found in Malaysia, with two cases detected at the international entry point and one case detected through screening.
All cases had a history of travel to India.
“The Malaysian Government has imposed the 14-day mandatory quarantine period for travellers from countries with the VOC in the community since April 28.
“It has also imposed an entry ban on non-Malaysian travellers from India since May 7 following the worrying spread of the VOC.
“The Health Ministry will continue activities to control infectious disease, such as epidemic surveillance, strategic Covid-19 screening, contact tracing and public health measures to curb the spread of the variants in the community, ” he said.