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12 JAN 2021

PUTRAJAYA: The National Pandemic Management Strategic Plan, which encompasses the management of pandemic including COVID-19 as a whole nation approach, will be launched soon, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

According to him, the government has set up the Pandemic Management Strategic Committee, chaired by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob with 10 working groups to implement the national plan.

Dr Adham said he would lead the health security working group which has the responsibility of ensuring that Malaysia managed to reduce the risk and threats as well as recover from a pandemic through several actions.

“A total of 136 initiatives have been drawn up by the working groups and will be implemented within five years,” he said in his speech at the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) New Year Mandate ceremony here today.

Dr Adham said the usage of existing health facilities should be optimised through the 3R approach, namely repair, replace and restore.

“Priority is given to enhance the aspects of safety, comfort and more effective facility operations. Special focus should be given to improving necessary health facilities in the urban and rural areas,” he said.

Dr Adham also congratulated the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) for winning the Health and Medical Tourism: Best Destination award at the 2020 Medical Tourism Awards ceremony in London.

“Malaysia has an advantage in the health tourism sector, which recorded 1.3 million tourists in 2019. This sector was affected last year due to COVID-19.

“More strategic and innovative measures need to be formulated to boost the development of private medical sectors and health tourism development,” he said.

On the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Adham said he had finalised the country’s 40 per cent guarantee of vaccine supply by signing the advance purchase agreement for the COVID-19 vaccine with several pharmaceutical companies and COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility.

“We are actively negotiating with several vaccine manufacturing companies to meet immunisation needs of Malaysians,” he explained.

Dr Adham said people are placing their high hopes in the government to get the COVID-19 vaccine as protection to lead a normal life, in addition to helping to open up the economic sectors on a large scale.

“Even though the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to the people, the awareness campaigns on cultivating the new norms should be intensified in a bid to break the chain of COVID-19 as vaccine is not a silver bullet,” he said. -Bernama


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