JOHOR BAHRU: Johor recorded its two earliest cases of Covid-19 of the Omicron variant involving a couple who returned home from Saudi Arabia, said the State Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan.

He said the couple left the country last Dec 4 to perform the umrah and returned to Malaysia via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Dec 16.

“The PCR Screening Test at the International Gateway conducted on December 16 was found positive on Dec 18. The PCR samples were then sent to the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) for genome sequencing process and the results were later found to be Omicron positive.

“Both cases are undergoing isolation at home and all close contacts to both cases have also been identified and instructed to undergo home quarantine,” he said in a statement, today.

With this latest development, Vidyananthan reminded Johoreans returning from abroad, especially those returning from their umrah pilgrimage, to comply with the stipulated quarantine order.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said that a total of 49 new cases of Omicron variants had been detected in the country as of last Friday.

Thirty of the cases involved Malaysians who arrived from Saudi Arabia from Dec 13 to Dec 17, while the remaining cases were arrivals from the United Kingdom, Qatar, United States, Nigeria, Turkey, Italy, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile Melaka State Health Department (JKN) confirmed detecting an Omicron variant positve case in the state yesterday.

State Health and Anti-Drugs Committee chairman Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said the case involved a 34-year-old woman who had just returned from Saudi Arabia after performing umrah from Dec 4 to Dec 15.

“The woman, her husband and family members left Jeddah via King Abdul Aziz International Airport and arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Dec 15.

At KLIA, she underwent the Covid-19 PCR test and returned to Melaka in a rental tour van arranged by their travel agent. The case was also ordered to undergo home surveillance order for seven days,‘’ he told a press conference at Wisma Persekutuan here today.

According to Dr Muhamad Akmal, the PCR test result returned positive for Covid-19 on Dec 18 and was referred to the Bukit Serendit CAC and later told to undergo isolation at home because this was a category 1 and asymptomatic case.

He urged those who boarded Saudi Airlines flight SV3842 and arrived at KLIA on Dec 15 at 9.50 pm and have not been contacted by any MOH officer, to lodge a report and immediately undergo self-quarantine to prevent the spread of infection. — Bernama