CM: RM190mil infectious diseases centre to be set up in Sarawak

KOTA SAMARAHAN: A centre for infectious diseases will be set up in Sarawak under the 12th Malaysia Plan to conduct research and development, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the state government had set aside RM190mil for the centre, which will focus on tropical diseases.

Construction is expected to start next year and be completed by 2024.

“This will be a research centre where our scientists will collaborate with academia, the government and institutions around the world.

“Our scientists can work together to identify source materials for us to develop and at the end of the day, we will get products or drugs that can control or mitigate the spread of new diseases.

“Covid-19 is one of them and we do not know what we will have in the future because of environmental problems, ” he said at the opening of a summit on viral immunology and antiviral therapy of Covid-19 at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak here yesterday.

Abang Johari told reporters later that the proposed centre would carry out research in collaboration with international institutions on infectious diseases.

“We have identified several institutions, including Cambridge University, Oxford University and Imperial College to do research, especially on tropical diseases.

“We believe it is very important in this part of the world. We hope with this collaboration, the pharmaceutical industry and those involved in medical research will come and work with us.”

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin said the centre would be located in Kota Samarahan.

“We are in the process of identifying the site. One possible site is next to the Sarawak Heart Centre, ” he added.

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