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An Indian man identified as Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batca, who had returned from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu has been imprisoned in Malaysia for breaching the 14-day self-quarantine protocol and is currently serving 5-months imprisonment for the violation. The arrest was made after the Malaysia’s Institute of Medical Research (IMR) detected a D614G-type mutation of Covid-19 in the culture tests of samples taken from three cases linked to the Sivaganga cluster, and one from the Ulu Tiram Cluster.
As per reports, he had tested negative when he reached Malaysia from India on July 13. However, he was instructed to home quarantine himself. As per the charge sheet, Batca was found in four public spaces on July 14, thereby breaking the quarantine norms. His later screening showed he had symptoms for coronavirus following which he was admitted to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.
He is now jailed for five months and fine of RM 12,000 has been imposed on him.
Deadly D614G strain found in coronavirus
Even as the world grappling with the galloping coronavirus crisis, a grim news has emanated from the South-East Asian nation Malaysia about the discovery of a deadlier strain of coronavirus. Malaysia has detected a new strain of coronavirus which is 10 times more infectious.
Taking to the social media website Facebook, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah claimed that the D614G mutation was first discovered in July, and the studies would possibly find that any existing vaccine is ineffective against the strain.
“People must remain vigilant and Cautious as Covid-19 with the D614G mutation has been detected in Malaysia,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
He further added, “Public should continue take preventive measures and follow the standard operating procedures as mandated, such as strict social distancing, wearing masks in public places and self-hygiene practices.”
Dr Noor said that the test by the IMR was preliminary and that there were several subsequent tests lined up on other cases, including index cases of the two clusters.
The deadly infection which had ravaged other parts of the world, called D614G, was detected in at least three of the 45 cases in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India and breaching his 14-day home quarantine. The man has since been sentenced to five months in prison and penalised. The strain was also found in another cluster involving people returning from the Philippines.
D614G mutation of the coronavirus
D614G is one of the deadliest mutation of the coronavirus that is predominant in several parts of the United States and Europe, two of the regions worst-affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the World Health Organisation has issued a clarification, saying there’s no evidence to prove that the strain leads to a severe version of the disease.
As per research in the journal Cell, a variant of the novel coronavirus, named ‘D614G’ is more contagious in cell cultures under laboratory conditions.
However, another paper published in Cell Press contrasts the claim, asserting that the strain is unlikely to have a major impact on the effectiveness of vaccines which currently being developed.