South African variant of Covid-19 not detected in Sarawak, says state Health director

Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing said the vaccine being given to the population is still effective in the state at present. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing said the vaccine being given to the population is still effective in the state at present. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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KUCHING, April 15 — The South African variant of the Covid-19 virus has not been detected in Sarawak so far.

Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing said the vaccine being given to the population is still effective in the state at present.

“We don’t have the South African variant here. We want to reassure that our vaccine is still active against the three variants we have here,” said Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing during the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) daily Covid-19 press conference update here today.

He reminded those who have completed their vaccination to continue observing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Dr Chin also pointed out that the vaccine protection is not 100 per cent as those vaccinated can still get infected and also infect others.

“We want all, vaccinated or not, to wear masks, physical distancing, and practice good hand hygiene. We try to achieve 70, 80 per cent vaccination rate before we can take off face masks,” he said.

In a report yesterday, the Ministry of Health (MoH) identified 17 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in Malaysia with the South African variant, 13 of which are from three clusters in Selangor.

The three clusters were Jalan Lima, Kebun Baru, and Teknologi Emas, while the other four cases with the B.1.351 variant that originated from South Africa were from close contact screenings unconnected to any cluster.

MoH first detected the B.1.351 variant, said to be more contagious, among two staff working at a company based at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on March 18, as well as in one case from the Kebun Baru cluster and a close contact screening.— Borneo Post Online

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