KUALA LUMPUR (June 4): The Ministry of Health has detected a total of 19 Variant of Concern (VOC) Covid-19 cases, namely four Delta variant cases (B.1.617.2) and 15 Beta variant cases (B.1.351) from May 24 till today.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said the four new cases of the Delta variant, formerly known as the Indian variant, involved three cases in Labuan and one case in Kuala Lumpur.
“All three cases in Labuan are infections from abroad which are cases from the Layangan Labuan cluster, while one case in Kuala Lumpur is a local infection.
“For the 15 new cases of the Beta variant (South African variant), six cases were reported in Johor, five cases in Kelantan and one case each in Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Melaka, and Terengganu. All cases are local infections," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said to date, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases categorised as VOCs and Variants of Interest (VOI) was 138, involving 122 VOC cases and 16 VOI cases.
The types of VOC cases reported so far are the Beta variant, Alpha variant (formerly United Kingdom variant), and the Delta variant, while the VOI cases involve the Theta variant (the Philippine variant); Eta variant (Nigerian variant); and the Kappa variant (Indian variant B.1.617.1).
"MOH will continue to strengthen infectious disease control activities including continuing genomic surveillance, increasing Covid-19 screening tests, conducting contact detection and case isolation, as well as other public health measures to curb the spread of these variants in the community," he said.
On June 1, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the practice of recognising Covid-19 variants by country in which they were first discovered would be discontinued, and replaced with Greek alphabets to avoid any country being associated with the stigma of the pandemic.