Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia signed an agreement with China to cooperate on the development of a secure and efficacious vaccine, as part of efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic on November 17th, 2020.
Under the agreement, in effect for an initial duration of five years, Malaysia will be granted priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed by China.
In a joint ministerial statement, Malaysia said, both will share knowledge and skills and facilitate scientific and technical capabilities to support vaccine development in their countries.
The agreement was signed with his Chinese counterpart Wang Zhigang, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at a virtual ceremony.
A commission headed by the Foreign Ministers from both countries in October to address post-pandemic issues will oversee the cooperation between Malaysia and China under the agreement.
"Both countries will also support the participation of their public and private sectors including universities, institutions, societies, and organizations in joint collaborative projects," the Malaysian ministries said.
Malaysia announced on Monday that it is in the final stage of discussions with COVID-19 vaccine producers and is hoping for the first quarter next year to introduce immunizations. Malaysia has been in talks with 10 vaccine producers of the COVID-19 in phase 3 trials, Mr. Khairy said.
660 NEW COVID-19 CASES
660 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed on Wednesday by the health ministry and 50,390 nationally registered. Four additional deaths have happened, raising the number of deaths to 322.
Sabah accounted for 387 cases and 141 infections in Selangor had been recorded.
In preparation for a likely surge in infections, the Ministry of Health said the number of hospital beds available in the Klang Valley had risen from 345 to 4,739. In the intensive care unit, there are a total of 103 patients left with 41 requiring ventilation support.
Deputy director-general of health Rohaizat Yon said the health ministry's various strategies have helped to keep the number of COVID-19 fatalities in Malaysia low at nine deaths per 1 million population.
Dr. Rohaizat said that an analysis showed that in Malaysia, most COVID-19 deaths accounted for 85.4 percent of all deaths, predominantly patients 50 or over.
"Comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, and length of patients receiving care in a medical center are also important factors that lead to the deaths of COVID-19 patients," he added.
Source : Channel News Asia