Ministry on the alert for any possible 'Disease X' outbreak, says Dr Zaliha

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is always on the alert for any possible new pandemic, including the so-called "Disease X" from an as-yet-undiscovered pathogen, says Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic).

The Health Minister said the World Health Organisation will alert its member countries should there be any outbreak of a new disease.

“It was named Disease X as it has yet to be determined. However, the ministry is on the alert (for any eventuality).

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“During recent meetings with other health ministers at the United Nations, we (did not) discuss it. I believe WHO will keep us informed,” she told reporters at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) on Monday (Sept 25).

Experts worldwide have speculated that an as-yet-unknown virus, dubbed "Disease X", could trigger an even more serious pandemic than Covid-19.

Dr Zaliha earlier attended the handing over ceremony of HKL’s new building for its Urology and Nephrology Institute here.

The building will support current facilities by providing 252 new beds, 34 acute haemodialysis unit additional points, 14 intensive care unit beds and six high dependency unit beds.

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Dr Zaliha added that the new building is also equipped with five prefabricated modular operating theatres (OTs) and support facilities.

“Modular OTs built using prefabricated metal wall and ceiling panels will save time if renovation and maintenance of operating rooms (is needed),” she said.

Also present at the ceremony was Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

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