Delta now the dominant COVID-19 variant in Sarawak

By Kuan Thai Far
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KUCHING: With the overall Delta variant detection rate of 82 percent, it has now been identified as the dominant variant affecting the people throughout the State.

This is according to the latest report dated 26 August 2021 by the Director of the Institute of Health and Community Medicine (IHCM) of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Prof. Dr David Perera, to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee Chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today.

The IHCM is tracking the SAR COV-2 variants circulating in the State for the committee.

Dr David said IHCM had done genome sequencing on 220 positive cases as of 17 August, and a total of 179 additional Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Interest (VOI) had been detected from them.

Of these VIC/VOI, 178 were of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant whereas one case was of the recently described Indonesian VOI (B.1.466.2) detected in Bintulu, the report said.

“The overall Delta variant detection rate of 82 per cent observed in this report represents an increase from the rate of 73 percent reported on 17 August,” added Dr David.

Almost all of the cases sequenced in Kuching Division were of the Delta variant with a detection rate of 99 percent ( 68 out of 69 cases sequenced).

“High detection rates of the Delta variant were also observed in Samarahan Division at 93 percent (38 out of 41 cases sequenced) and in Serian Division with 95 percent (16 out of 17 cases sequenced).

Sharp increases in the Delta variant detection rates were also observed in Bintulu with 84 percent (20 out of 24 cases), Miri at 65 percent (9 out of 14), and in Sibu at 60 percent (16 out of 27).

The same variant has also been detected in Mukah with a detection rate of 78 percent (7 out of 9 cases sequenced).

Similarly, according to Dr David, the Delta variant had also been detected in Sarikei with one case and Betong with two cases.

“An accumulative total of 771 VOC/VOI had been detected in Sarawak from over 2,000 positive cases sequenced as of 17 August this year.” he said.

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