Coronavirus: Singapore and Malaysia to set up joint working group to control spread

People seen wearing face masks along Orchard Road on 9 February 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore and Malaysia will set up a joint working group to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Singapore has nominated Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, to co-chair the working group, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Tuesday (11 February).

The objective of the joint working group is to boost collaborations and enhance communication between both countries, in order to better understand and limit the spread of 2019-nCoV. Senior health officials from both countries will work closely together over the next few days on the setup of the working group. 

At a video conference on Tuesday, Singapore’s Health Minister, Gan Kim Yong and his Malaysian counterpart, Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, discussed the situations in the respective countries and public health measures, epidemiological findings and clinical management of the disease.

The Ministers agreed that it is important for both countries to continue working closely together against the on-going outbreak, especially given the high travel volume between the two countries. 

Since the start of the outbreak, both countries have been in close touch with one another, including sharing information on cross-border cases, MOH said.

As of Tuesday, there are 47 confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection in Singapore, including 25 cases of local transmissions.

Malaysia has reported 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection as of Monday.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

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