16 December 2021
There is a possibility of another 18 Omicron variant cases in the country based on the PCR Genotyping Assay conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on samples collected between Dec 6 and Dec 10, 2021.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the ministry is waiting for the confirmation from the whole genome sequencing.
“We expect to receive the results on Dec 17, 2021,” said Khairy in a statement.
Malaysia has recorded another Omicron case involving an eight-year local citizen who had stayed in Lagos, Nigeria with her family.
The case was detected on Dec 14, 2021 after the Institute of Medical Research conducted PCR Genotyping Assay on 52 positive cases among travelers who entered the country between Dec 6 and Dec 10, 2021.
“The case arrived in Malaysia with her mother and sister on Dec 5, 2021 from Lagos, Nigeria on a transit flight in Doha, Qatar.
“The whole family had conducted the RT-PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and was instructed to undergo mandatory home quarantine,” said Khairy.
Khairy said she was tested negative after conducting an RT-PCR test prior to her departure from Lagos.
Her test result on Dec 7, 2021 upon arrival at KLIA came out positive however she did not show any symptoms and was told to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
“The case’s close contacts are her mother, little sister, father and the taxi driver who drove the family to their residence from KLIA.
“All of the tests conducted on her mother and little sister, which were tests done before departing to Malaysia, upon arrival and on the gift and eleventh day showed negative results,” said the minister.
The RT-PCR test conducted on the taxi driver is still ongoing. Khairy said all three of them are asymptomatic and were instructed to undergo quarantine for 14 days.
Her dad arrived in Malaysia on Dec 12, 2021 and was told to proceed with quarantine at a private quarantine station. The RT-PCR test conducted on him on arrival came out negative.
Khairy added there are 35 close contacts on the flight which are 4 rows of seats at the front, back, left and right to the case. All of the tests conducted on the close contacts showed negative results.
“The Ministry of Health along with the state health department and district health department will continue further investigation including contacts in the flight. For now, the source of the infection is still under investigation,” he said.
The first Omicron variant case was first detected in the country on Dec 3, 2021 involving a 19 year-old South African student who entered the country on November 19 via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Singapore.
The individual is a student at a private university in Ipoh, Perak and had received two doses of Pfizer vaccines on September 29 before returning home to South Africa to visit her family.
Separately, Khairy also said Sinovac vaccine recipients and those aged 60 and above need to get their booster doses by February or their full vaccination status will be rendered “incomplete”.
He said the decision was made following the arrival of the Omicron variant in Malaysian shores and guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The proposal had received approval at the Covid-19 Booster Immunisation Special Task Force (CITF-B) meeting on Dec 8, 2021,” he said.
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