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First case of Indian Covid-19 variant found in Malaysia

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr/Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Malaysia

Malaysia’s Health Minister has confirmed that a case of the Indian variant of Covid-19 has been reported in the country. Adham Baba says the highly contagious B.1.617 variant was detected in an Indian national at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The news comes just days after Malaysia banned flights from India.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the World Health Organisation has classified the Indian strain as a, “variant of concern”, indicating that it could have mutations that make it more contagious, that lead to more serious illness, or even prove resistant to vaccines. Adham has not confirmed when the variant was discovered, but is calling on people not to panic.

“We advise the public to remain calm. All public health efforts will continue in order to break the chain of infection and ensure public safety.”

Covid-19 is once again on the rise in Malaysia, with flights to and from India now banned and travellers from any part of India prohibited from entering. An unprecedented second wave of Covid-19 in India has sparked alarm in countries around the world, as hospitals, morgues, and crematoriums are overwhelmed with the sick and the dead.

Meanwhile, a national vaccine rollout is underway in Malaysia, with the country aiming to vaccinate 80% of its population of 32 million within a year. The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, the country reported 3,418 new infections. Malaysia has now had a total of 415,012 cases to date, with 1,533 deaths.

Tests are also being carried out in Bangkok after a group of Thai nationals who returned from India tested positive for the virus. Samples are undergoing laboratory analysis to confirm if they are infected with the Indian variant.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    There is zero evidence so far that this variant is more virulent, it is nothing more than as the WHO put it “a variant of concern”, the terrible situation in India is all about a government who’ve done very little and huge gatherings of unmasked people.

  2. Avatar

    Mark W

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    The Indian variant could be more deadly, or it could be weaker. In fact, more likely than not it’s weaker because most viruses tend to mutate into weaker forms.

    It’s amazing to me that the media and the experts never tell people this. The quality of information the public in receiving is very poor. I would guess that, despite 16 months of nonstop news coverage, the general public would score very low on a knowledge test about Sarscov2.

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