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People Urged To Be Vigilant After Highly Contagious COVID-19 Mutation Detected In Malaysia

The D614G-type mutation of COVID-19 is found to be 10 times more likely to infect other individuals and is easier to spread through 'super-spreaders', according to the Health director-general.

Cover image via Amran Hamid/New Straits Times & Bernama

Earlier today, 16 August, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that Malaysia has detected a highly contagious mutation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two clusters

In a Facebook post just past midnight this morning, the country's top health official said that as previously suspected, the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) has detected the D614G-type mutation in the samples taken from three cases linked to the Sivaganga cluster, and one from the Ulu Tiram cluster.

The D614G mutation was first detected in July, and studies have shown it is more infectious, transmissible, and deadly, according to News Medical website.

The three linked to the Sivaganga cluster are close contacts of the restaurant owner Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batca, who was sentenced to five months' jail and fined RM12,000 on Thursday, 13 August.

Meanwhile, the sample from Ulu Tiram comes from an individual who is from the Philippines.

While these two clusters are under control, the people must stay vigilant and careful in light of the mutation, Dr Noor Hisham advised

"Both these clusters are under control thanks to various public health measures that have been swiftly implemented in the field. These studies are preliminary studies, and there are several follow-up studies that are still ongoing to test several other cases including the index cases of both clusters," he wrote.

"Regardless, this means that the community needs to be more vigilant and more careful because the COVID-19 virus with the D614G mutation has been proven to be detected in Malaysia."

According to the Health director-general, the D614G-type mutation is found to be 10 times more likely to infect other individuals and is easier to spread through 'super-spreaders'.

It has been found to be 10 times more likely to infect other individuals and could spread easily if spread by 'super-spreaders'.
Dr Noor Hisham

He advised that people should continue to take preventive measures and adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) about physical distancing and personal hygiene practices such as washing hands, etc.

Wear face masks in public places, crowded places, and when chatting too close to each other.

"The cooperation of the community is very much needed so that we can jointly curb the transmission of COVID-19, regardless of what mutations it carries," the Health DG added.

Keep practising social distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

On Friday, a 72-year-old woman who breached home quarantine to dine out was charged with one day in jail and an RM8,000 fine:

Meanwhile, in China, a routine check has found that one of its samples of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil is positive for COVID-19:

On the other hand, the team behind homegrown contact tracing app SELANGKAH has announced their latest development: