Four samples of genome related to the Covid-19 cases in Parliament detected during screening on July 29 are most likely of the Delta variant, based on the current circulation of variants in Malaysia.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a post on Facebook said these samples which were received by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) from the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory showed positivity with low CT values.
“We have carried out a PCR genotyping assay that can provide presumptive results for variants of concerns or interest while the whole genome sequencing (WGS) takes about eight to 14 days to complete.
“In the interest of public health concerns, while awaiting results from WGS, IMR carried out a genotyping assay (Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay) which utilises a real-time PCR platform and can provide presumptive results for variants of concerns/interest within four hours,” he said.
From the genotyping assay, Noor Hisham said IMR had detected two important mutations in all four cases, indicating a presumptive positive for the Delta or Kappa variants.
“Based on the current circulation of variants in Malaysia, it’s most likely to be the Delta variant,” he said.
He said based on clinical studies abroad and information from the World Health Organization, cases infected with the Delta variant have a virus content of 1,200 times higher compared to cases infected with the normal variant.
He said WGS would be conducted for further confirmation.