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Covid-19: New coronavirus strain that is 10 times more infectious detected in Malaysia

Bernama/Kuala Lumpur
Filed on August 17, 2020
malaysia, covid-19, coronavirus, D614G mutation

(Reuters file)

Covid-19 virus with D614G mutation detected in Malaysia: Dr Noor Hisham

Malaysia has detected a highly infectious mutation of the virus, it said on Sunday, when the tally of cases stood at 9,200.

The Malaysian Institute for Medical Research has detected a D614G type mutation as a result of isolation and culture tests on three cases from the Sivagangga patient-under-investigation (PUI) Cluster and one case from the Ulu Tiram Cluster.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this means the community has to be more careful as the Covid-19 virus with the D614G mutation has been detected in Malaysia.

"It is found to be 10 times easier to infect other individuals and easier to spread, if spread by 'super spreader' individuals, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported.

"So far, these two clusters have been found to be under-control as a result of the swift public health control actions. This initial test and several follow-up tests are being conducted to test several other cases, including for the index case for the two clusters," he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.



Explaining the matter, he said, the D614G mutation was discovered by scientists in July 2020 and it is likely to result in the study on existing vaccine to be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation.

Therefore, he advised the public to continue to apply preventive measures and public health control, which is to practise the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP), like physical distancing, self-hygiene practices and to wear the face mask.

"The latest Covid-19 situation is found to be under control and the Ministry of Health and other agencies are still making efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Public cooperation is needed so that we can together break the chain of the COVID-19 infection from all types of mutations," he added.

Penang halts medical tourists after arrivals from Indonesia

Malaysia's northern state of Penang has barred entry by overseas visitors seeking medical treatment until it finalises new health and safety procedures in light of the coronavirus crisis, the chief minister said on Monday.

Authorities toughened curbs on movement in some parts of the island over the weekend, as new infections emerged after more than three months with no cases.


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