Four Covid-19 cases detected in Parliament could be linked to Delta variant, says DG Noor Hisham

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KUALA LUMPUR: Four positive COVID-19 cases of which detected in Parliament after a swab test on July 29 are most likely to be Delta variant, based on samples of the 4 cases which had been sent for whole genome sequencing to conclusively determine the variant

According to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, these samples which were received by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) today from the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory showed positivity with low CT value.

“Based on current circulation of variants in Malaysia, it’s most likely to be Delta variant.

“Today, the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) received four samples for whole genome sequencing from the National Public Health Laboratory in Sungai Buloh.

“These four samples are related to the positive cases in Parliament screened on July 29 where subsequent diagnostic RT-PCR showed positivity with low cycle-threshold (CT) value,” Noor Hisham said in his latest post in his official yesterday (Aug 1).

He added, a PCR genotyping assay has been carried out to provide presumptive results for variants of concerns or interest.

 

“ The whole genome sequencing (WGS) takes about 8-14 days to complete.

“”In the interest of public health concerns, while awaiting results from WGS, IMR carried out a genotyping assay ( Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay) which utilises real time PCR platform and can provide presumptive results for variants of concerns/ interests within four hours,” Hisham said.

From the genotyping assay, he added, IMR has detected two important mutations in all four cases, indicates presumptive positive for Delta or Kappa variants.

“Based on clinical studies abroad and the World Health Organisation (WHO), cases infected with Delta variant have 1,200 times higher virus content compared with cases infected with the normal variant (non-VOC).

“As such, the whole genomic sequencing (WGS) would be conducted for further confirmation,” Hisham said.


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Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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