Covid-19: Health Ministry detects another 22 new cases involving variants of concern


PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has discovered another 22 new Covid-19 infections in the country with links to two variants of concern (VOC), says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said the findings were based on genomic surveillance conducted by the ministry between June 11 and 19.

Out of the 22 VOC cases, 14 of them involved the Beta variant (B.1.351) and another eight were linked to the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement on Sunday (June 20).

He added that 14 cases of the Beta variant consisted of three cases respectively in Selangor, Sabah, and Terengganu, two in Kedah and one each in Perak, Johor and Kelantan.

He said that the eight cases of the Delta variant consist of two respectively in Johor, Labuan and Negri Sembilan, and one each in Perlis and Penang.

Dr Noor Hisham said that up till June 19, there had been a total of 183 cases categorised as VOC and variant of interest (VOI).

“From that figure, 167 are VOC and 16 are VOI, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He added out of the 167 VOC cases, 137 of them involved the Beta variant and all are local infections.

He said that the other 21 were of the Delta variant and the remaining nine cases were of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).

Dr Noor Hisham said that of the 16 VOI cases, 12 of them involved the Theta (P.3) variant, three linked to the Eta variant (B.1.525) and another to the Kappa variant (B.1.617.1).

He said the ministry is always conducting genomic surveillance, contact tracing, case isolation and the relevant public health steps in curbing the spread of other variants in the community.

Dr Noor Hisham urged the public to quickly sign themselves up under the national immunisation programme in order to achieve herd immunity.

“This is also a way to curb the adverse effects of the spread of the variants in the community, ” he added.

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