KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The Economic Affairs Ministry (MEA) will continue to ensure the country’s preparedness in dealing with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak effectively by working closely with the Health Ministry through development funding to enhance national preparedness to face health emergencies and outbreaks.
MEA is deeply concerned regarding the recent outbreak of the pneumonia-like illness in China and other countries in the region, said its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
“With the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays, there have been concerns over the risk of transmission with increased travels across neighbouring countries and potentially Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
For 2020, MEA has allocated RM227 million for the purchase of medical and non-medical equipment for all health facilities throughout the country.
In this regard, he said, MEA will ensure selected hospitals and health clinics that have been identified for the purpose of screening of diseases will be adequately equipped in controlling infection, prevention and contact detection in potential areas.
In 2019, MEA has approved the establishment of the National Centre for Disease Control (CDC) at a cost of RM500 million to prevent and control diseases, investigate outbreaks and public health threats.
This project has been underway and is expected to be completed by 2023, he said.
Through the establishment of CDC, the role of the National Public Health Laboratory will continue to be strengthened to address epidemic threats to public health.
“We would like to also express our deepest appreciation to all security personnel and public healthcare workers for their hard work and sacrifice to combat this outbreak,” Mohamed Azmin said.