Over 40 people are undergoing blood tests to determine whether they have contracted the Zika virus.
Once the tests are complete, the Institute for Medical Research will announce whether there are new cases of Zika
In revealing this, Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said the tests were being conducted by both government and private laboratories in an effort to curb the spread of the Zika virus, which has so far infected four Malaysians, including a pregnant woman.
The minister however, did not elaborate whether the 40 individuals had Zika symptoms.
“We will continue to monitor their condition,” he told reporters after officiating MIC’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur today.
It was reported that those who tested positive for the virus would be quarantined and not be allowed to donate blood.
Between Sept 1 and 7, the Health Ministry found 39 cases of people experiencing Zika symptoms.
However, all of them tested negative for the virus.
Dr Subramaniam said the Health Ministry could not verify a report by the World Health Organisation that 30 per cent of Malaysians were immune to the Zika virus.
“It is true that there was a Zika outbreak in the country in the 1960s and people who have already been infected once will develop a natural immunity.
“But we will only know how many Malaysians are immune to the virus if we decide to conduct community-level blood screenings nationwide.”