Institute of Medical Research to conduct studies on Covid-19 virus mutation, says Dr Noor Hisham

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the studies could help MOH to develop the vaccine and determine treatment for Covid-19 patients. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the studies could help MOH to develop the vaccine and determine treatment for Covid-19 patients. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, July 6 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has directed the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) to conduct studies on mutation of the Covid-19 virus to learn more of its characteristics.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the studies could also help MOH to develop the vaccine and determine treatment for Covid-19 patients.

“More studies need to be carried out to determine if mutations will make the virus super-spreader”, he told reporters at the press conference on the latest development of Covid-19 outbreak at the ministry here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said that in the last six months, since the Covid-19 cases were reported daily, there was always something new to learn about the virus’ characteristics.

“Compared to other coronaviruses, Covid-19 is relatively easy to spread. If we look at Covid-19, in the last six months it has infected more than 10 million people worldwide”, he added.

“Hence, it is  highly likely that there are mutations or changes in G614, the genetic code for the virus. If there is a change, the virus will spread faster”, he said.

Commenting on the Seri Petaling Mosque ‘tabligh’ cluster, currently with only one active Covid-19 case left, Dr Noor Hisham said the success was a result of the cooperation between all parties who detected and controlled the transmission among the participants.

He hoped that monitoring of the cluster could be completed within a week or two.

“This is a successful collaboration between MOH and all agencies involved in implementing measures to detect and conduct tests on participants.

“The cooperation from the ‘tabligh’ participants has also been good. They have been cooperating with the MOH to undergo the tests. If the good cooperation, between the government and the public, continues, we will be able to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection in the country”, he said. — Bernama

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