The Health Ministry today confirmed 11 Covid-19 Omicron variant cases have been detected in the country, thus far.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 11 confirmed cases were from the 18 suspected Omicron-fueled variant cases announced by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Dec 16.
Dr Noor Hisham said this brings a cumulative total of Covid-19 Omicron variant to 13 cases.
“The Omicron variant cases detected were all imported cases, involving three from the United Kingdom, United States (3), Nigeria (2), Saudi Arabia (2) and Australia (1).
“Nine out of 11 cases are Malaysians, while the remaining two are Nigerians.
“Eight cases are symptomatic patients who are currently in Category 2, and three other are asymptomatic,” he said in a statement, today.
Dr Noor Hisham said five patients are currently observing home quarantine, while the remaining six are at quarantine centres.
He said all patients are still under investigation to identify the cause of infection and their close contacts.
Dr Noor Hisham added that the remaining seven suspected Omicron-variant cases could not be confirmed due to unsuccessful full genome sequence testing.
“The full genome sequence testing could not be performed due to low level of viral load in the samples received.
“The seven samples were found to have high threshold cycle value (CT value) in which, six samples have CT value exceeding 30 and one sample had a CT value of 28.47”.
He said the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has also detected 13 more imported cases that are Omicron-variant possible on Dec 17.
“We are currently waiting for more information on the results from the full genome sequence, and we will be announcing updates from time to time,” he said.
He said the ministry have reported 222 new cases involving variants from Dec 11 till 17, 2021.
“IMR have identified 128 new cases which are Variants of Concern (VoC) related cases, namely 117 Delta variants (B.1.617.2), and 11 Omicron variants (B.1.1.529).
“The Malaysian Genome and Vaccine Institute (MGI) have identified a total of 48 Delta variant cases and the UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI) have also identified 46 new Delta variants cases,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases categorised as VoC and Variant of Interest (VoI) now stands at 5,213 cases.
“A total of 5,193 cases were VoC-related, while 20 cases were VoI-related.
“There are 4,933 VoC cases related to Delta variant, 233 cases of Beta variant, 14 cases of Alpha variant and 13 cases of Omicron variant.
“Meanwhile there are 13 cases of Theta variant, four Kappa variant and three Eta variant cases reported,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry is enhancing Covid-19 control and prevention measures at all international gateways and within the community.
The ministry, he said also encourage every individual to take booster shots to achieve the optimal level of protection, to curb the Covid-19 spread in the country.
The health ministry today confirmed Malaysia’s second Omicron Covid-19 case in an eight-year-old girl who had been living with her family in Lagos, Nigeria.
The girl, together with her mother and younger sister, arrived in the country on Dec 5 on a connecting flight through Doha, Qatar.
She and her family took a RT-PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival at KLIA and were told to undergo mandatory quarantine at home.
The results of the tests released on Dec 7 showed that the girl was positive for the virus. A PCR Genotyping Assay test confirmed on Dec 14 that she had the Omicron strain.
The health ministry said in a statement that the girl was asymptomatic and self-isolating at home for a period of 14 days.
Her family as well as the taxi driver who took them from the airport to their home have been classified as close contacts. Her family members have so far tested negative for the virus while the taxi driver is undergoing a RT-PCR test.
Another 35 passengers who took the same flight have also been categorised as close contacts although their Covid-19 tests have so far returned negative results.
The health ministry meanwhile said another 18 cases are awaiting the results of PCR Genotyping Assay tests to confirm whether they are of the Omicron variant.
Singapore now has 24 cases of the Omicron variant – up from the previously announced 16 – of whom three are locally transmitted infections, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Thursday (16 December).
The ministry also said it detected one more local case who has tested preliminarily positive for the new variant.
He is a 42-year-old man who works as a loading assistant at Changi Airport Terminal 3 and had no contact with flight passengers.
The man is fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, and is recovering in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, said the MOH.
Omicron is currently infecting 200,000 people a day across the UK, according to modelling from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
The health secretary said the COVID variant now represents more than 20% of coronavirus cases in England, adding: “The UKHSA estimates that the current number of daily infections are around 200,000.”
It’s understood that the number can change as the growth changes in the future – but it is the agency’s best estimate for Monday 13 December.
Sajid Javid also added that Omicron, which is thought to be much more transmissible than previous variants, represents more than 44% of infections in London, and it is expected to become the dominant variant in the capital “in the next 48 hours”.
“There are now 4,713 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK,” Mr Javid told MPs.Advertisement
Estimated infections are different from confirmed cases, as many are asymptomatic or carry symptoms so mild they are never tested.