KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — A second case of the B117 strain of the Covid-19 virus has been detected in Malaysia, revealed Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today.
The Health Ministry’s director-general said the latest case is of a traveller that recently returned to Malaysia from the Middle East.
“The first case involving the B117 strain was of a traveller coming from the United Kingdom, on January 9, but since then there has been one more case involving a traveller coming from the Middle East,” he said during an engagement session with the media held over Zoom teleconferencing this evening
Also present during the teleconference was Institute of Medical Research’s (IMR) Virology unit chief Dr Ravindran Thayan, who revealed the latest carrier of the B117 strain had recently returned from the United Arab Emirates.
“We traced a case of the B117 from a Malaysian citizen who returned from UAE after attending some training there,” he said without revealing further information.
“So we are constantly doing surveillance where up to now there are only two of these B117 cases in Malaysia,” Dr Ravindran added.
This after the World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this week in their weekly pandemic update noted mutations stemming from the B117 variant.
Tests have shown that mutations of the B117 strain, named the E484K mutation, could threaten to decrease the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines by dampening the effect of vaccines after one dose.
According to WHO, the B117 strain of Covid-19 has been found in at least 80 countries.