49 new cases of COVID-19 infection of the Omicron variant have been detected in Malaysia, bringing the total number of cases of the variant in the country to 62, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin
Except for one, the remaining 61 cases are imported infections from abroad.
The one case, which is still under investigation, is suspected to be a local transmission reported in Sarawak on Friday, 24 December, Khairy said during a press conference earlier today, 25 December.
The suspected local infection is a 38-year-old Chinese national who has been working at an engineering company in the state for three years and has had no history of travelling abroad during these years.
Meanwhile, Khairy revealed that 30 out of 49 new Omicron cases detected here are returnees who performed the Umrah in Saudi Arabia
"30 out of 49 new Omicron cases in Malaysia were detected from those who have performed the Umrah in Saudi Arabia," the Minister said, adding that most of them did not observe the home quarantine order.
In light of this latest development, pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia will have to wear digital trackers to strengthen enforcement of the Home Surveillance and Observation Order (HSO).
Khairy also said that Saudi Arabia has been added to the list of high-risk countries.
Additionally, Khairy said that Cabinet ministers who are currently holidaying abroad will have to undergo a week of quarantine upon their return to Malaysia before they can help in flood relief work
"Although they are being called back, it is very important for us to take precautions and be careful. So, the procedures still apply (to the ministers)," Malaysiakini quoted the Health Minister as saying.
This came after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob cancelled the ministers' year-end holiday and recalled the ministers on leave, including those overseas, to return to work until after the flood situation has passed.