KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today confirmed that 11 more Omicron variant Covid-19 cases have been identified by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

In a statement, Dr Noor Hisham said that the 11 cases come from the 18 cases that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had suspected were possible Omicron variant cases on December 16, adding that all 11 cases were brought into the country from overseas.

“All 11 cases of the Omicron variant reported were import cases, in which three are from the United Kingdom, three from America, two from Nigeria, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Australia.

“Nine of the 11 cases involve Malaysians, while the remaining two are Nigerian citizens,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that eight out of the 11 Omicron variant cases, eight have shown symptoms of the disease but are currently only at category 2, while the remaining three cases are showing no signs of complications.

“Five of the cases have undergone home quarantine, while six cases have undergone quarantine at a quarantine centre.

“All of these cases are under further investigation to identify the cause of infection and all close contacts,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that seven out of the 18 cases that Khairy had pointed out could not be verified as the Omicron variant as the full genome test was unsuccessful.

“This is due to the low level of viral load in the samples received. All seven samples were found to have high CT value, with six samples exceeding 30 CT value, and one sample having a 28.47 CT value,” he said.

The additional 11 confirmed Omicron variant brings the cumulative number of confirmed Omicron variant cases in the country to 13, while the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has also detected 13 more import cases showing signs of the same variants and is currently awaiting confirmation.