KUALA LUMPUR (July 2): The Ministry of Health (MoH) detected 28 new variant cases of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes Covid-19, between June 23 and June 30.

Some 25 cases have been classified under the variant of concern (VOC) category, while another three cases were variant of interest (VOI), according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement.

These involved 18 cases of Delta variant (B.1.617.2), five cases of Beta variant (B.1.351), three cases of Kappa variant (B.1.617.1) and two cases of Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).

They were identified in Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Melaka, Labuan, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Kedah, Terengganu, and Selangor.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the VOC category as a variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease, significant reduction in neutralisation by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.

The VOI category is defined by the CDC as a variant with specific genetic markers associated with changes to receptor binding, reduced neutralisation by antibodies generated against previous infection or vaccination, reduced efficacy of treatments, potential diagnostic impact, or a predicted increase in transmissibility or disease severity.

To date, Malaysia’s cumulative number of SARS-CoV-2 cases categorised under the VOC and VOI segments is 217, of which, 198 are VOC and 19 are VOI cases.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, despite one month of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) with 6,988 new cases reported yesterday, a jump from 6,276 previously. This marks the third consecutive day that new cases have been at above 6,000.

Yesterday’s 6,988 confirmed infections represented a 7.9% positivity rate from 88,450 people tested nationwide in the 24 hours before.

The country’s cumulative confirmed infections stood at 758,967.

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