KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) said it will work with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on development funding to face health emergencies, amid a coronavirus outbreak from China.
Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said MEA approved last year 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.
The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
“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,” Azmin said in a statement.
MEA has allocated RM227 million this year for medical and non-medical equipment for all health facilities throughout Malaysia.
“In this regard, 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,” Azmin said.
MOH said earlier today that four suspected coronavirus cases in Malaysia — two foreigners in Sabah and two Malaysians in Selangor — tested negative for the potentially deadly virus from the family of viruses that produced SARS.
The death toll from the new strain of coronavirus has reached 26, all in China, and infected 830 people across the country. More cases were confirmed in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and the United States.
The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has declined to declare a global health emergency over the 2019-nCoV outbreak, saying that at this stage, it was an emergency in China but not yet an international one.