Malaysia finds new COVID-19 variant from South Africa in 17 Selangor cases

Noor Hisham Abdullah against a file photo of a virus cell. Photo: Coconuts
Noor Hisham Abdullah against a file photo of a virus cell. Photo: Coconuts

The Health Ministry has found the South African variant of the COVID-19 disease in 17 locally transmitted cases. 

According to Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah, the B.1.351 strain was found in cases linked to clusters involving airport staff, Teknologi Emas factory workers, Kebun Baru factory workers, as well as four close contacts. Nine of those recently detected with the new strain were linked to Kebun Baru patients. 

“As of April 14 2021, a total of 17 individuals have been found with the South African B.1.351 Covid-19 variant,” the 57-year-old said. “To determine how far the B.1.351 variant had spread we conducted more genome testing in the Kuala Langat and Sepang districts,” he added.

All clusters were located in Selangor. 

The B.1.351 variant, which was first discovered in the UK and South Africa in December, was first detected in Malaysia earlier this month and is said to be more infectious. 

Malaysia has recorded 365,829 COVID-19 cases and 1,345 deaths.

Other stories to check out:

PM Muhyiddin among first in Malaysia to receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Feb. 21

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