KUALA LUMPUR – Asean members including Malaysia must work hand-in-hand to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and minimise the socio-economic impact to countries, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
In his Facebook post Aug 4, he said as the widespread effect of the pandemic goes beyond borders, by extension, cooperation at the regional level must be built upon consultation with regional constituents.
“There are no shortcuts out of this pandemic and given the current rate of COVID-19 vaccine development – an empowered, engaged community that takes individual behaviour measures in the interest of each other is very critical to bring this pandemic under control.
“…in Asean level we need to have common standards and avoid costly duplications. Together we stand strong in this region for a better prepared tomorrow,” he said.
He also calls for Asean members to be on top of the situation; science on top of politics, science thrives over politics, as well as to continue to enhance strategic communication and public adhering to the standard operating procedure (SOP).
Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham said this during a webinar titled “How Can Asean Bounce Back: Fostering Public Health Safety & Economic Resilience for a Borderless Community in Asean”, organised by CIMB Asean Research Institute (Cari).
The discussion centred on Malaysia’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s cooperation with Asean and the international community in addressing COVID-19, as well as how to strike a balance between public health safety and the survival of the economy.