A total of 49 new cases of COVID-19 infection of the Omicron variant have been detected in Malaysia, bringing the cumulative number of cases of the variant in the country to 62.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said of the total, 61 cases are imported cases, while one is likely to be a local infection reported in the Sarawak state on Friday (Dec 24).

He said the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) conducted a PCR Genotyping Assay test on 145 COVID-19 positive samples among travellers from Dec 15 to 21 with 60 of them were identified presumptive Omicron variant.

“On Dec 24, 45 of the 60 presumptive samples were confirmed Omicron variant through genome sequencing conducted by IMR,” he told a press conference here today.

He said the Institute of Health and Community Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (IHCM-UNIMAS) had detected four cases of Omicron variant.

On the local infection of the Omicron variant, Khairy said, it involved a 38-year-old male Chinese national who had been working at an engineering company in Sarawak for three years.

“The case has no history of traveling abroad in the past three years. The cause of the infection has yet to be identified and the investigation is still continuing by the Kuching Division Health Office ” he said, adding that the man, who had completed the COVID-19 vaccination, was in stable condition.

He said due to the risk of the spread of the Omicron variant worldwide, and detection of the cases in Malaysia, the Health Ministry, together with other agencies, had taken action to strengthen control at international gateways and screening of high-risk groups.

Meanwhile, with the excitement of the Christmas and coming New Year celebrations, Khairy reminded the public to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and conduct self-test for COVID-19 using RTK Ag before visiting relatives, neighbours and friends.

Source: NAM News Network

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