On Tuesday (25 February), the first Singapore and Malaysia Joint Work Group (JWG) meeting for COVID-19 was held in Johor Bahru. Singapore health representatives met with Malaysian colleagues to closely observe and monitor the border health screening facilities at the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has shared a post on their official Facebook page regarding the success of yesterday’s meeting. MOH describes that the meeting was productive as both countries discussed the need for working together in combating the COVID-19 outbreak by updating the screening protocols that are in place at the borders between both countries.
Taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the health delegates from both countries have agreed to maintain and extend health screening procedures that are located at the entry points of both countries.
In order to make control protocols effective, a bilateral Field Epidemiology Training Network (FETN) would be activated to share surveillance data. Both countries will continue to exchange relevant information between them so that information is released quickly and effectively to strengthen public messaging.
The Facebook post ends with MOH reiterating that both Singapore and Malaysia will continue to work together in light of the ongoing outbreak.
Singapore representatives are also looking forward to hosting a second round of the #JWGforCOVID19 meeting here.
Meanwhile, at a press conference yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong revealed that Singapore must be prepared for more COVID-19 cases because as the global spread of the disease increases, the risk of importation of the virus into the local environment becomes further intensified.
Mr Gan explains that, “While we have seen the number of new cases in Singapore remain low over the last few days, we must remain aware that the global situation remains dynamic and we cannot afford to be complacent.”
Mr Gan and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs multi-ministry task force on the coronavirus, noted that as the situation evolves, Singapore will continue to monitor and reassess the approaches and measures.