Malaysia says detects two cases of new coronavirus variant

Malaysia has detected two cases of a new coronavirus variant that is thought to be more transmissible and resistant to antibodies, a senior health official said on Friday.

Reuters | Kuala Lumpur | Updated: 05-03-2021 12:54 IST | Created: 05-03-2021 12:32 IST
Malaysia says detects two cases of new coronavirus variant
Representative Image. Image Credit: Pixabay

Malaysia has detected two cases of a new coronavirus variant that is thought to be more transmissible and resistant to antibodies, a senior health official said on Friday. The variant, also known as B.1.525, was found in two people who had traveled from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.

Analysis of the travelers' COVID-19 tests indicated the presence of mutations including E484K and a similar suite of protein deletions seen in a variant of the virus first detected in Britain, Noor Hisham said. "The E484K protein spike mutation is of high concern as this mutation has been reported to evade the immune system," he said.

Health authorities in the United Kingdom and other countries have said the E484K mutation could potentially reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. The B.1.525 variant has also been detected in England, Nigeria, Denmark, and Canada.

Malaysia on Friday eased movement restrictions in the capital Kuala Lumpur and several states, nine days after it began a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program. The Southeast Asian country has recorded more than 300,000 coronavirus cases so far, including 1,153 deaths.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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