Perak residents advised to be vigilant following detection of South African variant

IPOH (May 7): The people in Perak are advised to be vigilant and continue with the new normal practices to curb the spread of COVID-19 following the discovery of the South African variant of the virus (B.1.351), which is reported to be highly infectious, in the state.

Perak deputy health director  (Public Health) Dr Ummi Kalthom Shamsudin, when contacted by Bernama,  said the variant was detected in Perak after selected samples of positive cases were sent to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) for genotyping last week.

"The Health Minister has announced the discovery of this variant in Perak and Kelantan. All residents in Perak need to be vigilant, and not those in certain districts only, because it is very contagious," she added.

The Perak Health Department, in a statement on its official Facebook, said the virus is very infectious and advised the public to wear the face mask properly and observe physical distancing when in crowded places to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Avoid being in crowded areas, wash hands frequently and avoid contact. The public is also advised from holding or attending social events to prevent infection," it said.

A total of 137 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Perak yesterday, with 120 of them local infections.

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