A new strain of the novel coronavirus called 'D614G', deemed ten times deadlier, has been detected in Malaysia, said Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah in a Facebook post on Saturday.
The mutation has been spotted in three cases from a cluster which started when a restaurant owner and permanent resident returned to the country from India. It has also been detected in another cluster case which started from an individual who returned from the Philippines.
Abdullah said that the strain could mean that existing studies on vaccines might be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation.
"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 and there are several follow-up tests in progress to test several other cases, including index cases for both these clusters," Abdullah said,
Abdullah said that this meant people needed to be more aware and careful in the country. The mutation infects other individuals 10 times more and spreads more easily by an individual 'super spreader', he said.
He said that 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 protective clothes in public places.