Covid-19: Three cases with more aggressive form of Omicron detected in Sarawak

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 06 Feb 2022

FILE PHOTO: Test tubes labelled 'COVID-19 Test Positive' are seen in front of displayed words 'OMICRON SARS-COV-2' in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

KUCHING: A more aggressive form of the Covid-19 Omicron variant has been detected in Kapit, Sarawak.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) director Dr David Perera, three of cases detected involved the more infectious BA.2 lineage Omicron variant.

He added that Omicron has now overtaken Delta as the dominant Covid-19 variant in the state.

In his latest report to Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, on Sunday, he revealed that the detection rate of 78 per cent of the Omicron variant had been discovered from the surveillance data of positive cases from Jan 3 to 26, this year.

According to Dr David, 58 samples were successfully sequenced over the period and out of these, 45 were Omicron and 13 were Delta.

"The 78 per cent detection rate suggests that Omicron has replaced Delta as the dominant circulating variant in Sarawak," he said, adding that the Omicron cases were detected in samples taken from Kuching, Samarahan, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah and Miri.

Dr David said the majority of the Omicron variants detected were of the BA.1.1 lineage but three cases of the more infectious BA.2 were identified in Kapit and most of these cases occurred through community transmission.

In light of the increasing number of cases in the country, Dr David who is a member of Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (SCoVAG), advised those who have yet to get their booster dose to do so immediately.

Studies, he said, had shown that a booster shot was necessary to boost waning neutralising antibody levels to protect from the Omicron variant.

He also reminded the people to continue complying strictly with the health standard operating procedure (SOP) and to avoid community gatherings if possible to prevent further spread of the virus.

The IHCM of Unimas has been tracking the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the state.- Bernama

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COVID , Omicron , dominant , variant , Sarawak


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