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Married couple in Johor test positive for Omicron COVID-19 variant after returning from Umrah

Married couple in Johor test positive for Omicron COVID-19 variant after returning from Umrah

A passenger wearing personal protective equipment is seen at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Nov 29, 2021. (File photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

JOHOR BAHRU: A married couple in Johor who recently returned from performing the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia have tested positive for the Omicron COVID-19 variant, said the state government on Sunday (Dec 26). 

The pair had left Malaysia for Saudi Arabia on Dec 4 and returned on Dec 16 via Kuala Lumpur International Airport, said Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R Vidyananthan.

"They did their arrival (polymerase chain reaction) test at the arrival hall and their result on Dec 18 showed that they had tested positive for COVID-19," said Mr Vidyanathan. 

"The couple’s PCR results were also sent to the Institute of Medical Research where a genome sequencing process confirmed that it was the Omicron variant."

He added that the couple were presently isolating at home. Their close contacts have also been identified and instructed to isolate at home and monitor their health. 

In his statement, Mr Vidyanathan also reminded Johor residents who are returning from overseas travel to adhere to the quarantine health protocols that have been set. 

"Please remain in your respective rooms and do not meet with any housemates or other individuals," he said. 

"Failure to do so could lead to the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, among our family and community."

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Saturday said that Malaysia had reported 49 new Omicron COVID-19 cases.

He added that 30 out of the 49 cases were from those who were returning from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah. 

Mr Khairy also confirmed that Malaysia has reported a total of 62 COVID-19 Omicron cases, with 61 imported infections and one case suspected to be a local transmission. 

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Source: CNA/am(zl)