KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — A case of COVID-19 variant dubbed ‘UK B.1.1.7’ has been detected in Malaysia today involving a traveller with a history of travel to the United Kingdom last month.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a posting on his Facebook page, said that the traveller was found positive for COVID-19 on Dec 28 and had been isolated for further treatment.
“Since October 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has been monitoring all travellers from countries that have reported cases of UK B.1.1.7 variant mutations, including from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, the Philippines and India,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said so far no contagion in the country had been detected in relation to the UK B.1.1.7 mutation virus.
A total of 968 samples have been tested since October 2020, and genome sequencing to detect this type of UK B.1.1.7 mutation was performed on 24 samples, he said.
He said the MOH through the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) and the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC) would constantly monitor the progress of this UK B.1.1.7 mutation and would inform the public from time to time.
Dr Noor Hisham said although the UK B.1.1.7 mutation did not cause severe symptoms but it could spread easily and quickly.
He said the public was advised to always practice personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly, wearing face masks, especially in public places, and maintaining physical distancing at all times.