Covid-19 variants detected in 119 cases nationwide, says Health DG


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has detected 104 Covid-19 cases involving variants of concern (VOC) and 15 involving variants of interest (VOI) as of Monday (May 31), says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Of these, 14 were imported cases from overseas while 105 are local transmissions.

Dr Noor Hisham added in a statement that the figures came from continuous genomic surveillance conducted by the Health Ministry.

For the VOC cases, 89 were the B.1.351 variant, said Dr Noor Hisham, adding that they were all local transmissions.

Nine cases involved the B.1.1.7 variant, which consisted of four local cases and four imported ones.

The remaining six VOC cases were found to be of the B.1.617 variant, said Dr Noor Hisham, adding that all of them were imported.

The 15 VOI cases consist of 12 cases involving the P.3 variant (all local transmissions) and three of the B.1.525 variant (all imported).

According to the breakdown of VOC and VOI Covid-19 cases nationwide, Selangor has 42, Sarawak 20, Kelantan 18, Kuala Lumpur 11 and Perak 10, with several in other states.

“As you can see, the VOC type of Covid-19 is found in every state in Malaysia, especially the B.1.351 variant,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

He expressed concern that VOC types of Covid-19 could have spread further among the community.

“Since VOCs have a high infectivity rate, this matter must be taken seriously by everyone. If the chain of infection isn’t broken, it will continue spreading and it will be harder for us to curb the surge in Covid-19,” he said.

He advised the public to abide by the total lockdown ruling by staying at home at all times.

“If there is a need to go out, then abide by the SOPs set by the Health Ministry. These two weeks are extremely critical for us to break the chain of Covid-19 infection,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

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