KOTA SAMARAHAN, Feb 17 — Researchers at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) have played a big role in the Sarawak government’s efforts to contain Covid-19, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas today.

He said that since the RM190 million Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre was set up last year as a result of cooperation between Unimas and several related government agencies, the university researchers had proven their expertise in tackling the pandemic.

“The setting up of the infectious disease research centre, especially related Covid-19 transmissions, is proof of the high confidence the state government has in the Unimas researchers,” he said in his speech at the Fourth Session of the 25th Unimas Convocation Ceremony here today.

According to Uggah, contributions in the scientific field, such as findings of new Covid-19 variants and also through academic work from Unimas lecturers, were a source of pride and appreciated by the state government.

“Unimas researchers have mobilised their energy and worked tirelessly in helping the country combat the Covid-19 virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Unimas vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, who also spoke during the ceremony, said the university had been successful in securing a spot among the 401 best universities in the world based on Times Higher Education Young University Rankings recently.

He said Unimas had set up the Data Science Centre, and was in the process of setting up the Institute for Tourism Research and Innovation or ITRI.

“The university has launched the Vice Chancellor’s High Impact Research Fund to support high impact research activities which is aligned to the Sarawak government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS),” he added. — Bernama