Asean members to mutually recognise vaccination certificates

PETALING JAYA: Asean countries have agreed to mutually recognise Covid-19 vaccination certificates to facilitate seamless and safe cross border travel, says Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.

This, he said, was agreed to at the Asean Health Ministers Meeting in Bali, Indonesia on Saturday.

He said Malaysia was also ready to work with members of the regional bloc to recognise these vaccination certificates to ensure healthy and safe regional development and the well-being of the people.

“The recognition will be carried out with the Asean Universal Verification Mechanism or other mechanisms that were developed based on World Health Organisation’s technical specification.

“This is to ease Covid-19 vaccination certificate verification issued by each Asean country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said Malaysia also appreciated Indonesia’s efforts to lead the development of the Asean Universal Verification Mechanism.

The system had the potential to support Asean member states that had yet to have a Covid-19 vaccination verification system, he said.

“It is important to ease the reopening of borders and expedite the recovery process of Asean from Covid-19,” he added.

In the same session, Malaysia also voiced its support for the Asean Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases, a regional hub to strengthen regional capabilities to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and emerging diseases.

Aaron also touched on efforts to strengthen the resilience of the healthcare system and the post-pandemic recovery which 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 lead the Project for Strengthening Laboratory Capacity on Covid-19 Bio Genomic for Asean countries, which focuses on technical aspects of Whole Genome Sequencing for Covid-19, detection of mutation, 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.

Malaysia, he said, also fully supported the Asean-Post 2015 Health Development Agenda and other activities under the Asean Health Cluster.

Apart from that, Malaysia had also tabled a presentation on Smoke Free City Malaysia at the session.

The Asean Health Ministers Meeting was held from May 11-15.

The Malaysian delegation was led by Aaron.

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