Malaysia Reports First Omicron Case

Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced early Friday the detection of the first positive case of Omicron in Malaysia.

“After we found out about Omicron, we went back to do genomic tests on all positive cases from KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) between 11 and 28 November to see if it is already here. That’s how we detected the case,” Jamaluddin said.

The first case was a 19-year-old South African student enrolled at a private university in Ipoh, Perak, who arrived in Malaysia from Singapore on November 19.

Jamaluddin said there is no cause for immediate concern as the student went on quarantine on arrival, with health workers conducting contact tracing and testing exposed individuals. 

“The case underwent quarantine alone at the center, and based on the investigation conducted, the student complied with the orders issued. The case is also fully vaccinated and presents no symptoms,” Jamaluddin said.

At the beginning of December, Malaysia imposed entry restrictions on travelers from eight African countries with a high risk of Omicron infections.

According to Jamaluddin, travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Malawi would not be allowed to enter Malaysia for the time being.

Meantime, the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia would continue to operate for the time being.

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