The labs prove it, health DG says in backing claim on supervirus

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said the new Covid-19 strain would be able to infect people 10 times more easily.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah this evening defended his claim over the discovery of a Covid-19 strain said to be 10 times more infectious, after it was disputed by medical experts from Singapore.

Noor Hisham said the claim was based on tests carried out at medical laboratories.

This after the ministry observed how quickly the virus from the PUI (patient under investigation) Sivagangga cluster in Kedah spread which saw many being infected in a short span of time.

“The labs confirmed there was a mutation to the D614G strain,” he told reporters, referring to the Covid-19 strain.

“It has been proven that if there is a mutation to the virus the infection rate would be high.”

Noor Hisham had over the weekend said the new strain – discovered by scientists in July – had been identified in three patients in Malaysia and would be able to infect other people 10 times more easily.

He also said vaccines being developed may be ineffective against this mutation.

However, experts in Singapore contested the claim, arguing that the D614G strain is already found in Singapore.

They also said it would have no impact on the development of a vaccine for the virus.