A new strain of novel coronavirus that is ten times more infectious than the current strain has been detected in Malaysia, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah said the alarming message in a Facebook post.
The touted strain called the D614G mutation is “10 times” more contagious than the present novel coronavirus, and Abdullah has called for community consciousness to prevent the spread.
The new strain was detected in the Malaysian Institute for Medical Research, after isolation coronavirus testing of three cases from the country’s Sivagangga cluster and the other from the Ulu Tiram cluster.
“(…)people need to be aware and be more careful because the COVID-19 virus with this D614G mutation has been proven to be detected in Malaysia,” the statement read, adding: “It’s found 10 times easier to infect other individuals and spread easily if spread by the individual super spreader “.
“So far these two clusters are found quite controlled by the results of various fast-paced public health control actions in the field,” Abdullah said in the post.
“This test is an early test and there are several follow-up tests in progress to test several other cases, including index cases for both these clusters.”
The statement also added that the mutant COVID-19 strain was discovered back in July, and it is likely the present vaccine development will not take into account the newfound mutant of the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Noor Hisham added that so far, the virus strain has been controlled by robust public health measures, and “This test is an early test and there are several follow-up tests in progress to test several other cases, including index cases for both these clusters.”
Speaking about the possible gap in the COVID-19 vaccines to tame the D614G strain, Abdullah has called for robust public health control and prevention measures, like washing hands, wearing a face mask in public, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded places and restricting close chats.
“Community cooperation is much needed so that we can decide the contagion of COVID-19 infection from any kind of mutation,” he said.
On Sunday, Malaysia reported 25 new cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 9 cases were local transmissions and 16 foreign infections from countries like India, UAE, Thailand, HongKong, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon among others, Channel News Asia reports.
As of Sunday, no fatality has been reported in Malaysia, and so far the nation has a caseload of nearly 10,000.