KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — The lower Cycle Threshold (CT) values in the ‘Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests of positive Covid-19 patients in the third wave of infections currently could mean that they were being detected at an earlier, highly infectious phase, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said a lower CT value meant that the disease was still highly contagious, and this was because the virus load was higher in the body during the early stages.
However, he did not rule out the possibility that the high infectivity level could be due to a mutation of the virus.
During his virtual press conference held this afternoon, Dr Noor Hisham explained that the CT value for cases in Sabah and Kedah was found to be lower and it could be due to the ‘D614G’ mutation which causes the infection to spread more easily.
He said although 70 to 80 per cent of Covid-19 patients in Sabah were at levels one (non-symptomatic) and two (mild symptoms), their CT values were low, and therefore were highly contagious.
“That is why we have isolated patients in some quarantine and low-risk treatment centres for 14 days because the infectivity will usually decrease after 10 days,” he said.