Malaysia to set up joint working committee with Singapore to tackle novel coronavirus

Malaysia to set up joint working committee with Singapore to tackle novel coronavirus

The Health Ministry will set up a joint working committee with its Singaporean counterparts to tackle the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, said minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said the committee will be headed by the Deputy Health Ministers of both countries, and will focus on strengthening cross-border initiatives.

“The two-way focus of the committee will be on information sharing on matters of public health, medication, and research, to effectively counter the outbreak’s spread,” Dzulkefly told reporters during a press conference following a closed-door video conference with his Singaporean counterpart Gan Kim Yong.

Senior ministry officials from both countries will work together in determining the terms of reference for Malaysia and Singapore.

“We will also work to identify a contact person for both ministries so that rapid communication can be carried out.

“Cross-border case management and screening will also be handled, as will the indication synchronisation for the usage of antiviral medication on patients verified to be infected with coronavirus,” he said.

As for the ongoing outbreak in Malaysia, Dzulkefly said no new cases have been reported, with the cases still at 18.

“Of these, eight cases are classified as patient under investigation, eight cases for close contact, and two cases among Malaysians brought home from abroad via humanitarian missions.

“12 cases are Chinese nationals, with six Malaysians. Of the 12, three have been discharged after testing twice for the virus and coming up as negative,” he said.

The minister added that 106 close contacts have been traced, 60 of which are Malaysians and 46 are Chinese citizens.

“Samples have been taken the aforementioned close contacts, and the individuals involved placed under monitoring and observation,” he said. - Malaymail