KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 14 — The Ministry of Health has found 17 individuals positive with the South African variant of Covid-19 called B.1.125 as of today.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the infections came from the same source following contact tracing efforts done at localities near Sepang and Kuala Langat.
He said following the detection of the UK B.1.1.7 variant on February 3, health officials subsequently detected the Nigerian variant B 1.525 on March 5
The next time a new variant was found was on March 18 when two employees at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were found positive for the South African variant.
“On March 18, 2021 the South African variant B.1.351 was found in two employees in KLIA who were from the Jalan Lima cluster, one were from the Kebun Baru cluster and one from close contact tracing.
“To determine how far the B.1.351 variant had spread we conducted more genome testing in the Kuala Langat and Sepang districts.
“As of April 14 2021, a total of 17 individuals have been found with the South African B.1.351 Covid-19 variant and the analysis shows it most likely came from the same source,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.
Nine individuals with the variant were found in the Kebun Baru cluster, four from close contact tracing, three from the Jalan Lima cluster and one from the Teknologi Emas cluster.
For Selangor, out of 143 samples taken, the dominant genome is the B.1.524 with some mutation spikes of the D614G and A701V first detected in the Benteng Lahad Datu cluster.
In Sarawak, the D614G mutation B.1.466.2 and B.1.524 were found. It was the same with Sabah. Labuan had the B.1.466.2 while in Kedah the D614G genome was found at the Tembok, Sivagangga, Tawar, Sala and Sungai clusters.
In Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Kelantan, the B.1.36.16 was found while in Johor the B.1.1.63 was detected while in Penang the B.1.524 genome was found.
“Apart from that the Institute for Medical Research got samples from Perak, Pahang and Terengganu but the full genome sequencing could not be done as the viral load levels in the samples were low,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
Viral load refers to the amount of virus in an infected person’s blood. This is expressed as the number of viral particles in each milliliter of blood.