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Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press conference on 9 June that we can’t rule out the possibility that Malaysia may have all three strains of Covid-19.
We’ve actually known this for a while, and further studies are being done by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) during this time.
Confirmed studies on samples taken from Covid-19 show the presence of Strain B, which is identical to the kind detected in Wuhan, China. However, since there were many Malaysians who have since returned from countries like Japan, the United States, or the Middle East, there is a likelihood that Strain A and Strain C have made a presence here as well.
Even then, the strains could have mutated past their original genetic makeup, since a study by researchers in China found that their strain of Covid-19 had mutated over 30 different genetic variants which had been spread to different parts of the world.
Since the number of active Covid-19 cases have decreased to a manageable level, it frees up manpower to conduct further research and studies on the strains and their mutations in Malaysia.
Malaysians will no longer need to undergo the 14-day quarantine in a hotel when they return from abroad. The quarantine can now be done at home.
Dr Noor Hisham notes that this was because only a tiny percentage of returning Malaysians have tested positive. Of over 5,000 returning Malaysians, only 554 (about 10%) tested positive for Covid-19.
Hence, the risk for returning Malaysians are quite low and does not justify the high cost of hotel rooms used for quarantine. The 14-day at-home quarantine is still safe as it adheres to the World Health Organisation guidelines.
Those under quarantine will be given wristbands as an identification method and are also encouraged to download the MySejahtera app to track the Covid-19 outbreak.
Zero Local Transmissions
Even though the official number of Covid-19 increases by the day, most of them are from local migrant clusters or imported from abroad.
It’s good news that Malaysia has reported zero cases of local transmission for the first time in months. It’s also proof that the Movement Control Order (MCO) and all preventive measures taken by the public were crucial in bringing down the spread of the virus.
However, while the news is positive, we must still remain vigilant in our fight against Covid-19 as the virus is still present in the community.
By following stringent SOPs during this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), Malaysia might truly be able to break the chain of infection.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.