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PUTRAJAYA, May 11 -- The people have been advised to continue to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) as new variants of COVID-19 have spread to several states such as Kelantan, Kedah and Negeri Sembilan, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
He said so far, there were three variants of concern (VOC) in the country, namely 62 cases involving the South African variant (B.1.351), eight cases for the United Kingdom variant (B.117), and two cases involving the Indian variant (B.1.617.1).
As for the South African variant, 14 cases were detected today, of which seven were in the Kampung Domis cluster in Kelantan; three cases of close contact to active cases in Selangor; one case involving a health worker in Kelantan; two cases in Kedah and one case detected in Negeri Sembilan, namely the Pengkalan Hulu cluster.
“Our concern is that this variant has spread quickly where it will end in death, we also find that it infects young people with severe symptoms.
“The Ministry of Health (MOH) will conduct random tests to identify if this variant has spread to which other states," he said at a joint press conference with Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob here today.
On the Indian variant categorised as a VOC by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Noor Hisham said an Indian man died on April 21 due to being infected with COVID-19 from the variant.
He said the man tested positive for the variant on April 7 and was quarantined by the MOH.
“He was symptomatic but twice swabs were done and the results were negative, this shows this variant is very dangerous," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said 80 percent of COVID-19 infections were not through clusters but were sporadic cases.
“This shows that the virus is already present in the community, we expect cases to increase," he said, adding that the implementation of the Movement Control Order (PKP) nationwide could curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
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