Friday, January 14, 2022

First Omicron case detected in Malaysia

The virus strain was detected in an international student arriving from South Africa through Singapore.

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Malaysia has recorded its first case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the health ministry announced today.

In a statement, it said the strain had been detected in a 19-year-old international student at a private university in Ipoh, Perak who arrived from South Africa through Singapore on Nov 19.

It said PCR genotyping assay tests had been conducted on all positive samples found through screening at KLIA as an additional measure on top of whole genome sequencing.

The tests had found one among 74 positive Covid-19 samples taken at KLIA from Nov 11 to 28 with a high likelihood of being of the Omicron strain.

Genome sequencing confirmed the Omicron diagnosis on Dec 2.

The ministry said the student had been issued a surveillance and observation order under Section 15 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342) and is undergoing mandatory quarantine at the quarters prepared by the university in Ipoh.

The trip from KLIA to Ipoh meanwhile was made on a university bus.

“Close contact tracing has been conducted for the rest of the passengers and the bus driver, who number five in total,” the ministry said.

“They have been screened for Covid-19 and have undergone mandatory quarantine.”

It said the first and second test samples for these individuals had come back negative.

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