KUCHING, May 20 — Seven cases of the South African B.1.351 variant of the COVID-19 virus have been detected in Kuching district recently, according to the Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS).

IHCM in a statement today said the variant was detected following its genome sequencing analysis. 

“The earliest case (of South African variant) we sequenced was tested positive by RT-PCR on the 26th of April and the most recent case tested positive on the 6th of May. 

“We have also detected additional cases of the Philippine variant or the P.3 variant in Samarahan and Sibu,” according to IHCM director Prof Dr David Perera in a statement today.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, IHCM has been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic in the state.

It was tasked with testing samples and genome sequencing analyses to detect changes in the virus.


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