Health DG: 19 cases involving variants found in the country

PETALING JAYA: Nineteen cases have been recorded in the country involving variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

In a statement on Friday (June 4), Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said between May 24 and June 4, four cases of the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and 15 cases of the Beta variant (B.1.351) were recorded in the country.

"New cases of the Delta variant, previously known as the Indian variant, were recorded in Labuan (three cases) and Kuala Lumpur (one).

"The three cases in Labuan involve infection from outside Malaysia and are all from the Layangan cluster while the case in Kuala Lumpur was a local infection," he said.

He added that of the 15 Beta variant cases, previously known as the South African variant, six were reported in Johor, five in Kelantan and one case each in Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Melaka and Terengganu.

"All the Beta variant cases were local infections,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that, as announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO), variants would henceforth be named according to letters of the Greek alphabet to avoid countries being tied to the stigma of the pandemic.

"The practice of naming a variant of SARS-CoV-2 according to its country of origin will be stopped," he said.

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