KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Malaysia has detected another 14 Covid-19 cases involving variants of concern (VOC), Health director-general Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah when defending the nationwide movement control order (MCO) starting tomorrow.
He said with the 14 new cases, Malaysia has detected 62 patients carrying variants of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Dr Noor Hisham said the discovery has alarmed the Health Ministry as the VOCs were more contagious, resilient, and caused infections that were also more resistant to existing treatments.
“Among the 14 cases, seven were found in Kampung Gomis in Kelantan, three in Selangor, one case of a health worker in Kelantan, two cases in Kedah and one in Negri Sembilan.
“This shows that VOC cases are now in the community,” he told a press conference today.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified four VOCs — namely the B.1.351 South African variant, the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom, the B.1.1.28 variant reported in Brazil and the B.1.617.1 double-mutation variant from India.
According to Dr Noor Hisham, only the Brazil VOC has yet to be detected in the country.
He also raised concerns that 80 per cent of new Covid-19 infections were now sporadic and no longer contained in clusters, necessitating the need for MCO 3.0.
“Our concern is that the VOC has been transmitted in the community.
“With MCO 3.0, we have a chance to control the infections,” he said.