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11 new imported cases of Omicron variant, cumulative total now at 13 - Health DG

18/12/2021 06:08 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 -- The cumulative total of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases in Malaysia now stood at 13 after the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the Omicron variant in 11 new imported cases with travel history from five countries.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said of the 11 cases, three were from the United Kingdom, the United States (three), Nigeria (two), Saudi Arabia (two) and Australia (one).

He said of the 11 cases, nine were Malaysian citizens, and to others were Nigerians.

Eight cases were symptomatic but only at categories one and two, while other cases were asymptomatic.

Five cases had been ordered to undergo quarantine at home, while six others, at the designated quarantine station.

All of them are under further investigation to ascertain the cause of infection and their close contacts, Dr Noor Hisham said.

He said the 11 cases were part of the 18 samples showing the suspected presence of the Omicron variant announced by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin last Thursday. 

“The other seven samples, however, could not confirm the presence of the Omicron variant because the whole genome sequencing could not be done due to the low level of viral load in the samples,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) had detected 13 other imported cases showing the suspected presence of the Omicron variant, yesterday.

He said with the increase of imported cases of Omicron variant in Malaysia, the MOH has taken the initiative to enhance the prevention and control of COVID-19 measures at all international entry points and also in the community.

The ministry also encourages everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to achieve optimal protection against the coronavirus, he added.


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