(Picture for representational purposes only) Healthcare worker Nik Zulia Asma Mohd Zaki conducting tests on the samples obtained during Covid-19 screening at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 21 MAY 2020. Delta variant of concern VOC Adham Baba infection rate viral load
(Picture for representational purposes only) Healthcare worker Nik Zulia Asma Mohd Zaki conducting tests on the samples obtained during Covid-19 screening at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 21 MAY 2020.

By Muhammad Azizul Osman

KUALA LUMPUR – Individuals who are infected by the Delta Covid-19 variant of concern (VOC) are believed to have 1,000 higher virus load than those infected by the original strain of the virus.

According to the Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, the Delta variant is very contagious as it has the highest infection rate compared to the other VOCs such as the Alpha or Beta.

He said, as of 21 July, 392 cases of VOC have been detected in Malaysia that consisted of 205 Beta VOC infections, 173 Delta VOC and 14 Alpha VOC.

The monthly genome sequencing data from the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), Ministry of Health (MOH) showed that the SARS-CoV-2 VOC has replaced the non-VOC infections.

According to that data, he said, the VOC cases started to increase in May with 56 reported cases and it continued to rise in June with 95 cases that were sampled.

On another development, Dr Adham said that the saliva test kit for Covid-19 self-screening kit is available in the market since last Wednesday and can be purchased at the community pharmacies and health facilities.

“The test kits can be used by anyone who wishes to know about their Covid-19 status such as individuals with contact with positive patients and at relevant areas such as international entrances, interstate travel and pre-employment screening.

“The Covid-19 self-test kit can be purchased from the pharmacies or private health facilities. The users must ensure that the self-screening kit gets the relevant accreditation from the medical devices authority.

“They can obtain a list of the kit from MPA’s website and they need to follow the instructions for use,” he said.

Three Covid-19 self-test kits have been given conditional approval for public usage as of 21 July.

Meanwhile, the user needs to update and report in the MySejahtera application after obtaining their self-test result for further process.

“If they are negative but show symptoms, the MOH advises them to go to public or private health facility for health assessment,” he said.

Meanwhile, those tested positive have the choice of going to health facility or the Covid-19 Assessment Centre. –MalaysiaGazette