KUCHING, Aug 18  — There has been a sharp increase in Delta COVID-19 variant cases detected in Sarawak, according to the Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS).

IHCM director, Prof Dr David Perera in a statement today said an overall detection rate of over 73 percent had been recorded recently which is a sharp increase from the 50 percent reported on August 3.

He said for the Kuching Division alone, the Delta variant detection rate is approximately 90 percent.

“This variant also continues to be detected in Bau, Lundu, Kota Samarahan, Simunjan, Miri and Bintulu. Additionally, we have detected six Delta variants in Sibu,” he said.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, IHCM has been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic in the state, tasked with testing samples and genome sequencing analysis to detect changes in the virus.

Prof Perera said as of August 10, a total of 249 additional Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Interest (VOI) were detected from 338 COVID-19 positive cases sequenced and of these 248 were of the Delta variant.

He said a cumulative total of 592 VOC/VOI had been detected in Sarawak from positive COVID-19 cases as of August 10.


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