Whether S’gangga cluster a mutated virus known soon

PUTRAJAYA – Whether the COVID-19 virus from the Sivagangga cluster is a D614G mutated strain of the virus that increases the risk of COVID-19 infection among those who do not comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be known in a week.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Institute of Medical Research was studying and had isolated the COVID-19 virus from the Sivagangga cluster.

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“Another week the genomic sequence can be seen whether it is a mutated strain or not. So far, the Health Ministry (MOH) is only worried about a mutation,” he added at a press conference on the development of COVID-19 at the MOH here today.

Apart from public health measures, border control also needs to be improved as the COVID-19 D164G mutation virus is also reported in Europe and other countries, he said.

The virus is said to increase the risk of infection by more than 10 times among those who do not follow the SOP.

Dr Noor Hisham added that through public health action so far, the Sivagangga cluster infection in Kedah, Perlis and Penang has been successfully controlled through active case detection and the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order.

So far, the Sivagangga cluster has not been detected in other states and it is expected to be fully controlled within a week, he added.

On a case that was reported positive last Saturday in Negeri Sembilan, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH has not been able to confirm the case as a second case of infection involving the same patient.

Asked about the use of face shields among school students as an alternative to the use of face masks, he said, there were no clinical studies that prove that face shields can prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On the contrary, face masks can break the chain of Covid-19 transmission.

— BERNAMA