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|Medics take sample for COVID-19 test from a man in Selangor, Malaysia in July last year. (Photo: VNA/Xinhua)|
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on July 8 said five cases of the COVID-19 Omicron BA.5 variant have been detected in the country and are likely to spread widely.
He said a total of 13 cumulative cases of Omicron sub-lineage variants have been detected in Malaysia, including six cases of BA.2.12.1 and two BA.5.2.
All these cases were detected between May and June, he told reporters. However, there are no cases of sublineage Omicron BA.4 recorded so far, he added.
The Malaysian Ministry of Health is expecting that new infections will increase due to the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, especially the BA.5. This is because Omicron BA.5 spread easily compared with previous Omicron variants, namely BA.1 and BA.2, he noted.
According to Jamaluddin, over 110 countries had reported a spike in COVID-19 cases linked to the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.
Apart from Malaysia, he said that neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Indonesia were experiencing a surge in daily cases.
The BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants have become the dominant coronavirus strains in a number of countries abroad.
According to reports, the strains were first detected in South Africa earlier this year.