- The Straits Times
Because of the high Causeway traffic, Singapore and Malaysia are now sharing information about coronavirus research and working to stop cross-border infections.
Malaysia’s first coronavirus case is a citizen who travelled to Singapore for a conference and got infected.
Singapore’s 48th case is a local who visited Malaysia on Jan 26.
Last week, social media photos and videos allegedly showed throngs of Singaporeans visiting Johor to stock up on groceries.
This story was updated on Thursday (Feb 13).
With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Singapore and Malaysia climbing steadily by the week, the Governments of both countries announced on Tuesday (Feb 11) that they are cooperating to manage the spread of the disease on both sides of the Causeway.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health said in a statement that the countries are establishing a joint working group to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus in light of the high travel volume between them.
About 415,000 travellers use the land checkpoints daily.
“Since the start of the outbreak, both countries have been in close touch with one another, including expeditiously sharing information on cross-border cases,” it said.
State news outlet Bernama quoted Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad as saying that the committee would be led by the deputy health ministers of both countries. They will share information on health screenings, case management, and medication and research, including the effectiveness of antiviral drugs as treatment.
Video-Konferen Menteri Kesihatan-KKM Msia & Singapura ptg tadi #nCoA
Bersetuju tubuh 'Working Group' dipimpin YBTMK kedua2 negara utk jalankan:
1. Perkongsian info kesihatan awam, klinikal (incl Rx guna anti-viral drugs) & research.
2. Saringan kes rentas sempadan MAS-SG. pic.twitter.com/sQV2mbad9L
— Dzulkefly Ahmad (@DrDzul) February 11, 2020
Potential new measures reported by The Straits Times on Thursday (Feb 13) included temperature screening at borders, protocols for cross-border transfer of infected patients, and sharing of information to help with contact tracing for confirmed cases.
One of Singapore’s newest cases is a Singaporean who visited Malaysia on Jan 26, while one of the earliest Malaysian cases is a citizen who travelled to Singapore for a conference at Grand Hyatt hotel and got infected there.
Earlier last week, news reports surfaced of Singaporeans travelling to Johor Bahru en masse to stock up on groceries, after supermarket shelves in the city-state were wiped clean by anxious citizens stockpiling necessities after the county raised its alert levels to Dorscon Orange.
Malaysia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry said on Feb 11 that it had been conducting inspections in Johor since Feb 8 to ensure there was no panic buying of essential items by Singaporeans.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has been conducting surveillance in Johor since Saturday (Feb…