Infectious disease centre a proactive move

Michael Manyin Jawong

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The setting up of the Sarawak’s own infectious disease research centre is a reflection of the state government’s far sighted policy in mitigating future threats to public health.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong said Covid-19 has long been predicted by futurists and it was high time that Sarawak be proactive in preventing similar diseases in the future.

“In a book that I bought about ten years ago, a futurist predicted something similar to this. But futurists are sometimes right and wrong.

“But looking back, they were right. That is why it was a pleasant surprise that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that Sarawak would have its own infectious disease centre.

“It is time for us to be proactive instead of only reactive,” he said when officiating at an International Conference on Innovative Sciences and Technologies for Research and Innovation at UiTM Kota Samarahan here today.

Manyin said with an infectious disease centre, Sarawak would be more prepared for future infectious diseases.

He said the state government would have to get the approval of both Institute of Medical Research (IMR) and the Health Ministry to set up the centre.

“We have contacted them and they said they have no problem with it,” he said.

Manyin also urged all universities in Sarawak and across the nation to cooperate with the centre in their future researches.

“Experts will be invited to come and work with the centre, that will be a good place for lecturers, students and researchers to work together,” he said.

He added, Sarawak would continue to facilitate future research done by students and researchers through the Sarawak Research Development Centre (SRDC).

“We have the funding and those interested can apply for the funds,” he said.