KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — The COVID-19 virus in five clusters in the country involving the Benteng LD, Sivagangga, Tawar, Sungai and Bukit Tiram clusters was found having the D614G mutation, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Dr Noor Hisham in an update post on his official Facebook site said the result was obtained from the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) today.
“IMR conducted genome sequencing test on 32 COVID-19 virus detected from isolation tests and COVID-19 virus culture for Benteng LD cluster (23 virus), PUI Sivagangga cluster (4 virus), Tawar cluster (3 virus), Sungai cluster (1 virus) and Bukit Tiram cluster (1 virus).
“As suspected, the D614G mutation was found in all 32 COVID-19 virus,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham was reported as saying that the COVID-19 D614G mutation virus was found to be 10 times more infectious and could easily infect if spread by a super spreader individual in the Sivagangga cluster.
Elaborating further, Dr Noor Hisham said follow-up studies carried out before this on the Sivagangga and Tawar clusters on virus isolated in Kedah (Sivagangga, Tawar and Sungai clusters) found they are inter-related and there is a large possibility that they came from the same source of virus.
However, he said all 23 COVID-19 virus from the Benteng LD cluster were found to found to be similar to each other but not related with the outbreak virus found in Kedah even though all of them have D614G mutation.
He said the tests were initial examination and several followed-up tests would be conducted to further check the probability and review with COVID-19 virus phylogenetic tree.
Therefore, Dr Noor Hisham reminded the people to be cautious as the D614G mutation was found easier to spread and infect others.
“Practise full stipulated SOP which is physical distancing, washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer as well as wearing face mask in crowded and enclosed public places. Seek medical assistance if one has the symptoms,” he said.