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Dr Noor Hisham: Four samples of positive Covid-19 cases in Parliament most likely Delta variant

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a press conference reporting the daily update on the country’s Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health, May 8, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Four samples of genome related to the positive Covid-19 cases in Parliament screened on July 29, are most likely to be Delta variant, based on the current circulation of variants in Malaysia.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in his latest post in his official Facebook said these samples which were received by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) today from the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory showed positivity with low CT value.

“We have carried out a PCR genotyping assay that can provide presumptive results for variants of concerns or interest while the whole genome sequencing (WGS) takes about 8-14 days to complete.

“In the interest of public health concerns, while awaiting results from WGS, IMR carried out a genotyping assay (Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay) which utilises real time PCR platform and can provide presumptive results for variants of concerns/ interests within four hours,” he said.

From the genotyping assay, Dr Noor Hisham said IMR has detected two important mutations in all four cases, indicates presumptive positive for Delta or Kappa variants.

“Based on current circulation of variants in Malaysia, it’s most likely to be Delta variant,” he said.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, based on clinical studies abroad and the World Health Organisation (WHO), cases infected with Delta variant have 1,200 times higher virus content compared with cases infected with the normal variant (non-VOC).

As such, he said the whole genomic sequencing (WGS) would be conducted for further confirmation. — Bernama

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