Sivagangga cluster may be from super-spreader virus strain

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the new Sivagangga cluster has a faster transmission rate compared to the other clusters.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today there is a large possibility that the new Sivagangga cluster, originally from Kedah, may be from a super-spreader strain of the virus.

He said the ministry was informed of a super-spreader Coronavirus strain that originated from countries such as Egypt.

“We have to look at the sample in the labs and see the genomic sequence of the virus,” he said.

He said the cluster had a faster rate of transmission compared with previous Covid-19 clusters.

“Studies are being carried out to see if it is a ‘Genome 164’ cluster, which is a super-spreader cluster,” he said.

He added that the ministry had been informed of the super-spreader genome originating from Egypt and Pakistan.

Noor Hisham said the Sivagangga and Ulu Tiram clusters were new targeted groups for Covid-19 screening.

He said the Covid-19 situation in the country was still under control as the Rt (effective reproduction rate) today stood at 0.58, adding that there would be an exponential rise in infections only if it hit 1.6.