PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 (Bernama) — The Malaysian and Singaporean governments today agreed to form a Joint Working Committee to strengthen various cross-border efforts to address the 2019 novel coronavirus infections, with the committee’s first meeting set to take place very soon.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the committee will be led by the deputy health ministers of both countries.
The matter was agreed upon during a videoconference discussion between Dzulkefly and his Singaporean counterpart, Gan Kim Yong, with senior ministry officers from both countries, also in attendance.
“Senior officers from Malaysia and Singapore will work together and continue discussions in the near future on the terms of reference for the Joint Working Committee,” he said during the ministry’s daily press conference on the latest developments concerning the coronavirus infections.
Dzulkefly said the focus of the cooperation between both countries was to share information on public health, medication and research, with the aim of ensuring that the coronavirus infections are addressed effectively.
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The cooperation will extend to health screening and case management, as well as the streamlining of indications for the use of antiviral drugs on patients who have been confirmed positive, he added.
The identification of officers from both the Malaysian and Singaporean ministries, who would be responsible for communications on the management of coronavirus cases and the detection of close contacts, will also be facilitated by the committee.
The committee’s first meeting is scheduled to discuss, among others, advice pertaining to movement between both countries.
Meanwhile, asked whether Malaysia and Singapore faced a shortage of antiviral drugs, Dzulkefly replied that this was not the case.