Malaysia, Singapore Confirm First Case of Omicron Variant

Photo: AP

Kuala Lumpur, MINA – Malaysia confirmed its first case of the omicron variant on Friday.

Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the case was identified in a 19-year-old woman who arrived from South Africa via Singapore on November 19, Anadolu Agency reported.

He is a student at a private university in Malaysia and has completed the Covid-19 vaccination, Jamaluddin said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Jamaluddin added that the student had been placed under mandatory quarantine for 10 days and allowed to leave quarantine on November 29.

While in quarantine, said Jamaluddin, the student did not show symptoms and had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.

Jamaluddin said authorities had retested positive samples earlier after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced omicron as a worrying variant on November 24.

“It is important to note that this case entered Malaysia on November 19 before South Africa reported its first case to the World Health Organization,” Jamaluddin said.

He said the student had been in contact with five people on the bus, including the driver, who was also undergoing a Covid-19 test and mandatory quarantine.

“The first and second tests of all close contacts came back with negative results,” Jamaluddin said.

Meanwhile, Singapore announced its first two cases of the omicron Covid-19 variant on Thursday which came from two passengers who flew from South Africa to Singapore.

“The two passengers have been isolated upon arrival in Singapore on December 1. They have not interacted in the community,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The Ministry of Health continued that Omicron had not spread among Singaporeans.

According to the Ministry of Health, the two Omicron patients are currently recovering in the isolation ward at the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Both have been fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms of cough and itchy throat.

The Ministry of Health conveyed that contact tracing was ongoing and as many as 19 other passengers who were on the same flight tested negative for Covid-19.

“Close contacts with omicron sufferers, if any, will be quarantined for 10 days at designated facilities and undergo PCR tests at the beginning and end of quarantine,” the Ministry of Health said.

All patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant will be taken to NCID for isolation and will not be allowed to recover at home. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)