Omicron variant probably more transmissible than Delta, says Khairy

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

KUALA LUMPUR – The new COVID-19 B.1.1.529 variant, now named Omicron is probably more transmissible than the Delta variant, but it is not yet known how virulent the virus is, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (picture).

“We know Omicron is probably more transmissible than Delta but we don’t yet know its virulence.

“What we can do in the meantime is step up public health interventions (masks, distancing, hygiene), improve indoor airflow, keep our aged safe and take a booster when offered,” he said in his Twitter account today.

Last Friday, Khairy announced that Malaysians have been banned from travelling to seven countries, namely South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe following the emergence of the new COVID-19 strain.

Khairy said it was an effort by the government to enhance border prevention and control measures, including for travellers arriving at the country’s entry points, effective tomorrow.

He said three countries have reported Omicron-related cases so far, namely South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.