Malaysia-EU collaborate to strengthen healthcare system focusing on Covid-19

PUTRAJAYA (June 23): Malaysia will collaborate with the European Union (EU) in the field of research and development (R&D), so as to strengthen its overall emergency preparedness and healthcare system capacity, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pictured).

Speaking at the virtual launch of the EU-ASEAN Programme to Support Covid-19 Response in Malaysia yesterday, he said the R&D would focus on Covid-19 management and response.

“We are all fighting against the same enemy and, with solidarity and good regional cooperation, we will win this battle,” he said.

Also present at the virtual event were World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Dr Lo Ying-Ru Jacqueline, EU Ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas and Programme Management and Technical Officer WHO Representative Office for Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Dr Paul Soo.

Sharing the challenges faced by Malaysia in managing the pandemic, Dr Adham said the National Security Council and the Health Ministry were working tirelessly to execute a five-point strategic plan.

They are to break the pandemic transmission chain, reduce morbidity and death, strengthen diagnostics and surveillance, achieve herd immunity and increase awareness of the new normal culture, he said.

“Ultimately, the pandemic has shown the importance of people empowerment, to share the responsibilities in responding to the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the total export of Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia, Rokas said the EU had approved to export of about five million doses of vaccines so as to help Malaysia accelerate its Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme.

According to him, figures as of June 15 showed that a total of 4.87 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 560,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been shipped to Malaysia, adding that these were procured via the COVAX scheme.

"All these exports, as per request by Malaysia, were approved instantly, that is within two to three days and also been given due exception because of the pandemic emergency,” he said.

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