3 Covid-19 Omicron variant cases detected in Johor, Melaka from returning pilgrims

3 Covid-19 Omicron variant cases detected in Johor, Melaka from returning pilgrims

Three cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant have been identified in Johor and Melaka on Saturday (Dec 25).

The married couple from Johor and a woman from Melaka had returned from umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the Johor duo left for pilgrimage on Dec 4 and returned to Malaysia on Dec 16 via Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"They did their RT-PCR test at the airport arrival hall and their result on Dec 18 showed they were positive for Covid-19.

"They were told to isolate at home in Johor Baru, and their close contacts have been identified and instructed to isolate and observe (their health) in their respective homes.

"The couple's PCR results were also sent to the Institute of Medical Research where a genome sequencing process confirmed that it was the Omicron variant," he said in a statement on Sunday.

Following this, the Johor Health Department reminded those who have returned from overseas, especially the umrah pilgrimage, to obey the mandatory quarantine order as stipulated, he added.

Mr Vidyananthan advised returnees to remain in a separate room at home and refrain from meeting other family members or other individuals during the quarantine period.

Failure to adhere to the quarantine order could cause the disease, including the Omicron variant, to spread among family members and the community, he said.

Meanwhile the 34-year-old woman returning after performing her pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has become Melaka's first Covid-19 Omicron variant case .

The state's health and anti-drug committee chairman Muhamad Akmal Saleh said the woman and her family members were in Saudi Arabia from Dec 4 to 15.

"This the first case involving this variant in the state and we have traced eight close contacts in Kuala Lumpur and here, and have quarantined them for two weeks.

"There were 41 individuals from Kuala Lumpur and here who were with her during the pilgrimage and we are tracing all of them," he said on Sunday (Dec 26).

He said the woman had returned via King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Dec 15 on board a Saudi Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur. - Straits Times