Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there were a total of 62 Covid-19 variant cases been detected in Malaysia so far. He added that 61 out of the 62 cases were imported infections from abroad, while one case is still under investigation, and is suspected to be a local transmission.
In a press conference today (25 December), Khairy said the suspected local infection in Sarawak involved a 38-year-old Chinese national who has been working at an engineering company in the state for 3 years and has had no history of travelling abroad during these years.
“He underwent the Covid-19 test on 18 December after suffering from a fever and cough since 13 December. The sample tested positive for Covid-19 and he was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital on Monday (20 December),” said Khairy.
“Case samples were sent to IHCM (Institute of Health and Community Medicine) at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) for genomic sequencing test and were confirmed positive for the Omicron variant on Thursday (23 December),” he added.
Khairy said the Kuching Divisional Health Office is still investigating the cause of the infection.
He said the patient is fully vaccinated and his condition is stable and that two of his close contacts have been identified.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the Health Ministry and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) had conducted PCR Genotyping Assay test on 145 Covid-19 positive case samples among travelers from 15 December to 21 December 2021.
Out of the 145 samples, 60 indicated probabilities of being the Omicron variant and on 24 December, 45 out of these 60 presumptive samples were confirmed to be Omicron.
Separately, the Institute of Health and Community Medicine at UNIMAS also detected another 4 cases of the Omicron variant.
“Out of the total 49 new cases, 30 were imported infections from Saudi Arabia, which occurred among travellers who returned to Malaysia after performing the Umrah. A large number of them did not adhere to the home quarantine regulations,”
“They did not isolate themselves from the other family members living in the same house and also accepted guests during the quarantine period,” Khairy added.
Nonetheless, he urge those who are travelling overseas, especially to Saudi Arabia, to get their booster shot.
Khairy said the Ministry will be announcing a shorter interval period between the second and third dose next week.