PETALING JAYA: A total of 12 Covid-19 Arcturus subvariant cases were detected in Malaysia in the past week, says the health ministry.
Its minister, Dr Zaliha Mustafa, said all the patients exhibited mild symptoms and were in stable condition.
Of the 12 cases, six were from Sarawak, four from Selangor and two from Kuala Lumpur.
Zaliha said the World Health Organization (WHO) global Covid-19 risk assessment reported that the risks of infection and case severity from the Arcturus subvariant were much lower than the other Covid variants and subvariants.
“Covid-19 infection levels are still under control and have not strained the public health facilities despite the fact that this XBB 1.6 subvariant (Arcturus) was discovered in the country back in March,” she said in a statement today.
She reminded those with symptoms to test, report and isolate themselves. High-risk individuals such as children, the elderly and those with comorbidities are advised to mask up when they are in crowded spaces.
Zaliha also said there has been a reduction of 6.4% in Covid-19 cases from 5,149 in the 15th epidemiological week to 4,817 cases in the 16th epidemiological week ending April 22.
Arcturus is a subvariant of the Omicron variant that was first identified in January and has been monitored by the WHO since March 22.
The subvariant, which was found in 22 countries including Singapore, the US and the UK, is currently driving the surge of infection cases in India, which led to two states in the country -Haryana and Kerala – to reintroduce mask mandates.