It’s been close to a year since the start of Covid-19, and just as we thought the situation was getting more manageable, another strain of the coronavirus has been detected in Malaysia. The mutation is said to be 10 times more infectious than the original Wuhan strain.

Health Chief Noor Hisham Abdullah wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday about the discovery of the mutation by the Institute for Medical Research. He wrote that the D614G mutation has been detected in four cases: three from a cluster, and a separate case in another cluster.

He explained: “This mutation was discovered by scientists in July 2020, and it is likely that existing vaccine research could be non-inclusive of or ineffective against this mutation.”

According to Datuk Dr Hisham, the cases in the two clusters are still under control, and that the tests they did were preliminary tests. More tests are underway for other cases in the two clusters.

He also cautions: “This means, the community has to be more cautious because this mutated Covid-19 virus has been proven to be found in Malaysia. It has been found to be 10 times more infectious and will be easily spread by a super spreader.”

He reminds the public that the first step in fighting against this virus is to prevent the spread by following the SOPs introduced, including social distancing, personal hygiene including washing hands frequently with soap and water, wearing masks in public places, crowded places, enclosed areas or when conversing in close proximity.

To date, Malaysia has 9,200 cases, and out of those, more than 8,800 have recovered.

Text: Hidayah Idris / HerWorld / August 2020
Additional text: Sally Manik
Featured image: Ivannag82 / Envato Elements