Malaysia reported its first case of omicron variant infection as the new coronavirus strain spreads across the world.
The variant was identified in a 19-year-old woman who had arrived from South Africa via Singapore on Nov. 19, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a briefing on Friday. She is a student at a private university in Ipoh, Perak, and has completed her Covid vaccination, he said.
The student, who was asymptomatic, completed her quarantine on Nov. 29, and all her close contacts have been tested and found negative, Khairy said. “So far, this case is contained.”
The announcement comes days after the new variant prompted Malaysia to pause the transition to the endemic phase of the outbreak until it obtains more data. Malaysia and Singapore on Monday opened land and air vaccinated travel lanes, and plan to further reopen their borders as daily infections decline.
Malaysia will maintain its travel lane with Singapore for now, Khairy said.
Malaysia on Wednesday added Malawi to its temporary travel ban on African countries and mandated additional Covid testing for those participating in its travel lane with Singapore.