KUALA LUMPUR: The country has recorded its first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
In confirming this, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the sample was flagged as the Omicron variant of concern on Dec 2 through genome typing assays.
It involves a non Malaysian traveller who arrived in the country via Singapore on Nov 19 and had undergone screening upon arrival at the KLIA.
The 19-year-old is a foreign student from South Africa studying at a private higher educational institution in Ipoh, Perak.
The student, who was asymptomatic, has completed her 10-day quarantine period. All her close contacts have been tested and found negative.
She had undergone quarantine at her apartment in Ipoh.
"On Nov 29 we called her again and tested all her close contacts and all were negative and not symptomatic," Khairy said in a press conference today.
He assured that rigorous contact tracing had been done on her close contacts, including those on the plane.
The five people who were in the bus that transported the student and other passengers were also tested twice and they were all reported negative.
The bus trip from KLIA to Ipoh was organized by her university.
Khairy said that the detection was proof that the ministry's backend in terms of tracing, contact tracing and quarantine measures worked.
"There has been no surge in infections in Ipoh, or Perak so far as well."
Khairy said that while the World Health Organisation (WHO) had raised the alarm on the variant on Nov 24, he had ordered the Institute of Medical Research to test all samples from Dec 11 onwards.