Malaysia chosen by WHO to take part in joint research to test COVID-19 cure

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): Malaysia has been chosen by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the countries to participate in joint research to test the medicine for COVID-19, according to Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The collaboration is to facilitate the research on a novel antiviral drug called Remdesivir, which, according to Dr Noor Hisham, has been identified as a possible medicine to treat COVID-19 patients.

"However, to determine whether the drug will be scientifically effective, we have to do the research," Dr Noor Hisham told repoters today.

He said Malaysia was chosen due to the country's capability to conduct research at a high level, and having the right platform and researchers to do so.

"We already have a platform [to do this research] and our researchers are trained to conduct such research. So, among the reasons we were chosen is because we have been identified as a country with a good healthcare research system," he said.

"This research will be focused on Hospital Sg Buloh and other hospitals that have been identified as COVID-19 hospitals. These hospitals may be made into a site for us to collect data and provide treatment to our patients, using this latest drug," he said.

He added that the Ministry will have a meeting with WHO tonight, to discuss and line out the implementation of the joint research.

It was not revealed, however, how many or which other countries are involved in the collaboration.