KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the D614G mutation of the coronavirus may be why a Covid-19 patient has a higher viral load.
A lower cycle threshold (CT) value has been observed in test results conducted during the current third wave of Covid-19 infections, probably caused by the D614G mutation of the coronavirus.
Dr Noor Hisham explained that a lower CT value reading obtained from one’s test means a higher viral load within the person’s body, which translates to a greater chance of them infecting others with the virus and is consistent with the characteristics of the D614G mutation.
He said other factors which could have contributed to the lower CT value readings include the ministry’s quick detection of positive cases and their close contacts, as per the current situation in Sabah and Kedah.
“If we see in Sabah, maybe we are seeing such a CT value because we are conducting screening exercises quickly and we identify cases quickly, so the CT value is lower.
“Another factor could be due to the virus’ D614G mutation which causes a larger viral load and causes the virus to spread easier,” he explained during his daily briefing today.
“So today if we see a low CT value in Sabah and Kedah, there is a possibility that it is caused by the virus mutation and infections that occur much faster to those who were exposed to positive cases,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham was answering reporters, including one who asked him to explain the significance in CT values obtained from tests done during the first and second waves, as compared to results from the current third wave.
He said tests done during the first and second waves had CT values in the 20s and 30s, indicating far less infectivity and viral load within patients and also before the D614G mutation was observed.
Sabah today recorded 489 new Covid-19 cases, with a total of 6,286 cases recorded in total, while Kedah saw seven new infections with 1,890 Covid-19 positive cases to date.
Malaysia as a whole recorded 629 new infections today, along with six more deaths and 245 more cured patients.