Four Omicron cases detected in Kedah linked to umrah traveller, says Khairy

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 4): Four cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases involving the Omicron variant were detected in Kedah on Tuesday (Jan 4), according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

In a statement, he said all four cases were close contacts of an individual who returned from umrah in Saudi Arabia on Dec 12, 2021, and was found positive on Dec 24. The four reported mild symptoms on Dec 17.

“The Covid-19 RT-PCR tests conducted on Dec 19, 2021 [on the four] were positive with a CT (cycle threshold) between 20.80 and 21.49. All four were treated for 14 days at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital, Sungai Petani, Kedah,” the minister said.

Khairy advised those who have to undergo compulsory quarantine to follow instructions from health authorities, stay in a separate room and not meet with others, including household members, to contain the spread of Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, he said 54 imported Omicron cases were detected on Tuesday, including 39 from Saudi Arabia, seven from the United Arab Emirates and four from the UK.

These brought the number of Omicron cases detected in the country so far to 122, of which 117 cases were imported while five were locally transmitted.

“Of the total reported Omicron variant cases, 71 cases (58.2%) were umrah pilgrims,” Khairy said.

He also said that results of the PCR genotyping test conducted by the Institute for Medical Research on 1,774 Covid-19-positive cases among travellers who arrived in Malaysia between Dec 1 and Dec 31, 2021 found 1,220 samples or 68.8% possibly carrying the Omicron variant.

“Of these 1,220 suspected Omicron variants, 928 (76.1%) involved a sample of travellers who arrived from Saudi Arabia,” Khairy added.

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