Mr. Khairy Jamaluddin said in a press conference that the Omicron case was confirmed yesterday based on a sample taken from the 19-year-old student who took the COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
He said that the student had arrived in Malaysia from Singapore.
The minister added that the student entered Malaysia before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Omicron a variant of concern on Nov 26.
Following WHO's pronouncement, Malaysia had temporarily imposed entry restrictions on foreign workers and international students from eight African countries with a high risk of Omicron infections from Dec 1.
Travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Malawi cannot enter Malaysia during the ban.
The omicron coronavirus variant seems to be rapidly overtaking delta as the dominant virus strain and appears to evade some of the protection provided by previous infection or vaccination, scientists warned.