At a time where most Malaysians are anxiously counting the number of coronavirus cases that are increasing in the country, it’s a relief to know that Malaysia has got a good hand on the crisis.
In an interview with Bernama TV, a representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Ying-Ru Lo, said that Malaysia is doing a great job in handling the coronavirus outbreak and at the same time has been very transparent in disseminating information via the Ministry of Health online platforms.
“Well we have been sharing information very closely with the authorities in Malaysia, and the Malaysian authorities with WHO, and I think Malaysia is doing very, very well. They are very open, very transparent.”
“All the information about the case investigation, results of the case investigation, is available immediately on the Ministry of Health’s website,” she added.
Dr. Lo also praised the fact that all information in regards to coronavirus cases in Malaysia are made available immediately and are also validated accurately.
“They also post new information, very accurate information which is validated on their social media. They also are in close contact with the authorities of Singapore and the neighbouring countries. So we are impressed about the quality of the work”.
Dr. Lo, who is a physician specializing in infectious diseases and based in Germany, also weighed in on WHO’s stand against travel restrictions.
“Although travel restrictions seem intuitively to be the right thing to do, this is not something WHO usually recommends, and this is because there is a lot of social disruption and its very resource intensive,” she said, adding the fact that imposing travel restriction had brought a high cost to many countries in the past.
Instead, Dr. Lo advised that a much better alternative would be in improving responsive measures such as ensuring health screenings are available at all entry points especially in airports.
With the first patient in Malaysia, a 4-year old girl from China, having recovered from the dreaded virus, The Ministry of Health has also amped up its efforts in combating the outbreak by adding 16 more laboratories that would be able to conduct detection tests in the country.
Of these, 12 are hospital laboratories while 4 are Public Health Laboratories, trained with Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) that was adopted by WHO’s protocol.
With the addition of the new laboratories, Malaysia currently has 18 laboratories equipped with conduction coronavirus detection test including two existing IMR and Sg Buloh National Public Health Laboratory (MKAK).
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya