PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has recorded its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, involving a South African student studying at a private university in Ipoh, Perak.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told reporters today that the 19-year-old female student arrived from South Africa via Singapore on Nov 19 and had undergone a COVID-19 RT-PCR test upon entry at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

He said the individual was then subjected to the Observation and Surveillance Order under Section 15 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) and completed a 10-day home quarantine alone at a residence prepared by the university.

She was confirmed positive for the variant of concern on Dec 2, Khairy said.

He said the individual was fully vaccinated, was asymptomatic, and had fully complied with the home quarantine order.

Khairy said the student had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine on Sept 29 before returning to South Africa to visit her family.

He said based on a test sample taken by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) on Nov 20, the student had a 26.68 Cycle Threshold (CT) value, adding that her MySejahtera application records showed she had not made any trips outside during her quarantine.

"There is no record of her checking in our checking out of any premises (during the quarantine period)," he said.

Khairy also said that eight individuals, including the bus driver and passengers, as well as her housemates, have undergone close contact screening and mandatory quarantine.

"The first and second sample tests on all close contacts were confirmed negative. They did not experience any symptoms," he said, adding that all of them, including the student involved, will undergo another screening test again today.

He said the Health Ministry (MOH) was also carrying out close contact tracing for passengers of the flight she had boarded, and based on her MySejahtera records, for those in several locations in KLIA she had been in.

Khairy urged the people not to panic over the case and called for continued adherence to standard operating procedures and public health practices.