KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) tonight dismissed claims by certain quarters that it was late in taking action relating to the 2019 novel coronavirus infection in the country.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the country’s preparedness including facilities and relief teams was at its best even before the World Health Organisation held its meeting on the virus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
“We understand the people’s concerns, but if it was to say that the MOH was slow to act, our National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) at Sungai Buloh has been activated on Jan 5, right after we were made aware of the crisis, even before WHO held its meeting,” said Dr Dzulkefly.
Speaking as a special guest during TV3’s Buletin Utama aired tonight to explain on the latest development of the coronavirus infection in the country, Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry had vast experience in dealing with health crises such Nipah Virus, Zika and H1N1 in the past.
"In fact, frontliners involved in managing the coronavirus infection are equipped with full protective gear. This includes 57 hospitals have been identified as screening hospitals with 26 of them prepared to provide treatment.
“However, we do not want to be complacent, even though the Global Health Security Index had placed Malaysia third in Asia behind Thailand and South Korea in terms of national preparedness and ability to deal with infectious diseases," he said. — Bernama