KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Malaysia is keen to learn not only from the successes, but also the less than effective public health measures that were enacted to contain Covid-19 in China, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said amid public scrutiny.

He clarified that the medical experts who arrived here yesterday are here to share their knowledge on the coronavirus and the measures taken, be it effective or otherwise, so that Malaysia can benefit from their shared experience and not repeat the same mistakes.

“It is not just positive matters [that we discussed], even though there are measures that they have done but it was not successful, we would like to know as we can learn from those measures which are not successful so that we don’t repeat them.


“In our discussions, a lot of issues that have arisen, from the treatment of patients, also issue of education, detention, and specific techniques,” he said in his daily press briefing.

The media had asked Dr Noor Hisham why the Chinese medical team was here, considering Beijing has been accused of major failures such as allegedly covering up reports by their doctors in the early stages of the outbreak.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had welcomed the team and lauded the ties between Putrajaya and Beijing, even as ships from both countries were reportedly in a stand-off in disputed waters on Friday.


Dr Noor Hisham stated that the Chinese medical experts are not here to treat patients, but stressed that they are helping public health officials here to better understand the coronavirus, which is also crucial to combat the outbreak.

Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry would also share their research on whole-genome sequencing of the coronavirus with the Chinese medical experts from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the medical experts are experienced personnel involved in handling the outbreak in the Hubei province — ground zero of the coronavirus.

The eight-member expert team was received by Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian and officials from Malaysia’s Ministry of Health upon their arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

According to the envoy, the team will share their experience and expertise on fighting Covid-19 with their Malaysian counterparts during their two-week stay in Malaysia.

Dr Noor Hisham had previously said Malaysia is looking at the possibility of research collaboration with the Chinese team, among others to isolate the coronavirus and determine whether different strains of it has been behind the country’s relative success.