Worse to come? Malaysia detects new coronavirus strain that is 10 times more infectious

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Kuala Lumpur: In a further scary revealation, a new strain of the novel coronavirus called ‘D614G’, dubbed to me about 10 times more infectious than the novel coronavirus, has been detected in Malaysia, said Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah in a Facebook post Saturday.

The mutation has been spotted in three cases from a cluster which started after a restaurant owner, originally a resident of Malaysia, returned from India. A similar cluster has also been detected in another case which started with returnees from the Philippines.

Abdullah is of the opinion that the strain could mean that existing studies on vaccines might be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation without concrete knowledge of this strain.

“So far these two clusters are controlled due to the fast-paced public health control actions on the field. This test is an early test. There are several follow-up tests in progress to for many other cases. These include index cases for both these clusters,” Abdullah said.

He further said that this meant people needed to be extra cautious and guarded particularly in Malaysia. The mutation infects other individuals 10 times more and spreads more easily by an individual ‘super spreader.

Malaysia’s main action was to secure public health, and asked people to practice Covid-19 norms strictly, such as practicing good self-hygiene and wearing protecting oneself in public places, Abdullah said.

The novel coronavirus pandemic began with a breakout in the Wuhan city of China in January. Possible origination theories say it could have spread through the Wuhan’s wet market, or through the endangered and widely trafficked Pangolins, among other ways.  The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern  30 January, and a pandemic on 11 March by the WHO.


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