Just in the foot of the Movement Control Order announcement, the Ministry of Health informed in a statement yesterday that a case of the Covid-19 B117 UK variant or 202012/01 spike protein mutation has been detected in Malaysia yesterday (11 January).
The individual that tested positive is a Malaysian traveller who has a history of travelling to the United Kingdom in December 2020.
The traveller tested positive on 28 December 2020 and has since been isolated for further treatment. Since October 2020, the Ministry of Health has been monitoring all travellers from countries that have reported the UK variant, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey and India.
968 samples have been tested since October 2020 to detect the new strain and as of 11 January 2021, no domestic transmission has been detected in connection with the B117 UK variant.
“We will be monitoring the development of this mutation and will inform you of any updates. Eventhough the UK variant doesn’t cause extreme symptoms, it can spread easily and quickly.”
Health Director-General, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reminded the public to remain vigil and maintain their personal hygiene by washing their hands, wearing masks at public places and maintaining physical distancing at all times.
The Ministry of Health is worried about the new strain as epidemiologists and virologists have found that B117 virus is 70% more transmissible than the other strains. According to PharmEasy, the spikes of the coronavirus with which they attach themselves to our healthy cells have mutated thus helping the coronavirus infect our cells at a faster rate.
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