Covid-19: Asean countries agree to mutually recognise vaccination certs

PETALING JAYA: Asean countries have agreed to mutually recognise Covid-19 vaccination certificates to facilitate seamless and safe cross-border travel, says the Health Ministry.

Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said this was agreed at the Asean Health ministers meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on May 14.

ALSO READ: Mutual recognition of vaccine certs to boost border travel

He said Malaysia is also ready to work with members of the regional bloc to mutually recognise the Covid-19 vaccination certificates to ensure a healthy and safe regional development and well-being of the people.

"The recognition will be carried out with the Asean universal verification mechanism or other mechanisms, which were developed based on the World Health Organisation's technical specification.

"This is to ease Covid-19 vaccination certificate verification issued by each Asean country," Aaron Ago said in a statement on Sunday (May 15).

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He said Malaysia also appreciates Indonesia's efforts to lead the development of the Asean universal verification mechanism.

He added that the system has the potential to support Asean member states, which have yet to have a Covid-19 vaccination verification system.

"It is important to ease the reopening of borders and expedite the recovery process of Asean from Covid-19," said Aaron Ago.

In the same session, Malaysia also expressed its support for the Asean centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), which is a centre of excellence and regional hub to strengthen Asean's regional capabilities to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and emerging diseases.

ALSO READ: Covid-19: Malaysia, Philippines mutually recognise each other's vaccination certs

He had also touched on efforts to strengthen the resilience of the healthcare system and the post-pandemic recovery that includes the use of digital technology to ensure continued access to healthcare services such as virtual clinics and online appointments.

Malaysia will also leverage on the Asean healthcare sector platform to increase genomic sequencing capacity and to exchange technical and clinical information related to Covid-19.

He added that Malaysia would also lead the project for strengthening laboratory capacity on Covid-19 bio genomics for Asean countries.

This focuses on technical aspects of whole genome sequencing for Covid-19, detection of mutation, building phylogenetic tree Covid- 19, analysing genomes and stepping up the Covid-19 surveillance system.

"It is hoped that this initiative will steer Asean in the recovery from Covid-19," he said.

Aaron added that the direction for healthcare collaboration was also discussed at the meeting, in line with the theme "Charting Asean-US Future Collaboration Towards Strengthening Health Systems for Public Health Emergencies".

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