Malaysia-Singapore meeting to contain Covid-19

  • ASEAN+
  • Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020

Malaysian Health Department personnel conducting thermal scanning of vehicles entering Johor Baru from Woodlands Checkpoint on Feb 17, 2020. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Singapore and Malaysia on Tuesday (Feb 25) agreed on some areas of joint cooperation in the two countries' bid to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Singapore-Malaysia joint working group, which was set up on Feb 11, met for the first time in Johor Baru on Tuesday, with senior government officials of both countries in attendance.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said both countries at the first meeting agreed that they will continue entry screenings and further align health screening protocols at the land borders.

Platforms and networks will also be activated for experts to exchange information on the effective clinical management of patients, as well as to share surveillance data for better monitoring and pre-empting of the spread of Covid-19, the official name given to the virus by the World Health Organization.

The delegations also agreed to exchange information such as national advisories and public messaging on the virus.

Prior to the meeting, both countries had said that collaboration was important given the high volume of travel between Singapore and Malaysia.

MOH had also noted that before the Tuesday meeting, the two countries had already been in close touch with one another "since the start of the outbreak".

The first case of the virus was publicly announced in Wuhan in China's Hubei province last December.

As of Tuesday, Malaysia had 22 confirmed cases of the virus, among whom 18 have recovered and been discharged.

Singapore now has 91 cases, with the rate of new infections being announced in recent days having greatly reduced.

Of the 91 cases, 58 have fully recovered and been discharged, MOH said in an update on Tuesday.

Delegates at the meeting on Tuesday toured the health screening facilities at Sultan Iskandar building's Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in Johor Baru.

The joint working group is expected to next meet in March. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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