COVID-19 Virus with D614G Mutation Detected in Malaysia

By Mei Kuan

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a Facebook post today (August 16) announced that The Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has detected the D614G mutation in Malaysia as a result of COVID-19 virus isolation and culture tests on three cases from the Sivagangga patient-under-investigation cluster (close contact with index case) and one case from the Ulu Tiram cluster (individual from Philippines). 

According to him, to date, these two clusters have been found to be under control as a result of various swift public health control actions. This was an initial test and there are several follow-up tests being conducted to test a few other cases, including the index cases for both clusters.

He advised all to be extra vigilant now that the COVID-19 virus with D614G mutation has been detected in Malaysia, “It is discovered to be 10 times easier to infect other individuals and easier to spread, if spread by ‘super spreader’ individuals. The D614G mutation was first discovered by scientists in July and it is likely to render the study on existing vaccines incomplete or ineffective against the mutation.”

“Thus, our main action is still via preventive measures and public health controls. We must be disciplined in practising the SOPs fully, physical distancing and high standards of personal hygiene especially to wash hands with water and soap, wear face masks in public areas, crowded settings and when interacting in close proximity,” he explained, 

“The latest COVID-19 situation is found to be under control and the Ministry of Health and other agencies are still working to curb the spread of COVID-19,” he added, citing that the cooperation from the community is vital to collectively break the COVID-19 spread chain against its mutation of any kind.

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