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BA.4 variant found, not expected to significantly increase COVID cases

James Kon

The Omicron BA.4 variant is not expected to cause a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country after it was detected in April, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar in the daily press conference yesterday.

The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the sub-variant of Omicron as a ‘Variant of Concern’.

The minister said the BA.4 case who arrived from South Africa on April 25, had only exhibited mild symptoms. The case has since fully recovered, he said.

The minister said globally, Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 are still higher than the number of cases of BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

“Therefore, the inclusion of cases with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 is not expected to significantly increase the number of cases in the country,” he said. He advised the public to not feel anxious or worry over the detection of BA.4 in the country.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) will monitor the development of COVID-19,” he said, adding that the public should still follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The minister said around 87.9 per cent of positive 1,593 cases sampled since January are of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.