Khairy: Ministry of Health to step up genomic surveillance to detect Omicron variant

SHAH ALAM: The Ministry of Health (MOH) will increase genomic surveillance at international gateways in the country to ensure that the new variant of Covid-19 Omicron can be detected quickly, its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

He said the government has so far succeeded in increasing the full genome sequencing analysis capacity to 1,500 samples per month.

“With the existence of this variant of concern (VOC), I will ask the Ministry of Finance to provide an additional allocation so that we can further increase the capacity of the Ministry of Health to implement genomic surveillance,” he said. he said at a press conference after attending the National Conference. Appreciation ceremony for the staff of the Covid-19 Health Institute, here Monday (November 29).

He said full genomic sequencing was important because in this way the Ministry of Health would be able to detect the types of variants present in Malaysia.

“Through full genomic sequencing, we detected the Delta variant in Malaysia and this method is important to find out if the new Omicron variant also exists in Malaysia,” he said.

“To date, through the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Higher Education, who have formed a consortium to increase genome sequencing capacity of Covid-19, have yet to receive reports on the Omicron variant in Malaysia, ”he said. -Bernama

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