Global Health Asia-Pacific March 2022 March 2022 - Page 4


Founders Narender Panjwani & Thomas Masterson
Publisher & Managing Director Narender Panjwani narender @ ghapac . com
Chief Executive Officer and President Varun Panjwani varun @ ghapac . com
Editor Gabriele Bettinazzi gabriele @ ghapac . com
Editorial Director ( Aesthetics ), Branding and Communication Manager Drishti Panjwani drishti @ ghapac . com
Copy editor Martin Murphy
General Manager , Asia Pacific SK WONG sk @ ghapac . com
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In this issue , we look at how Malaysia is edging closer to the endemic stage of the pandemic . Declaring COVID-19 endemic would mean the country and the rest of the world would learn to adapt and live with the virus without the need for harsh social and travel restrictions . Anticipating such a decision , Malaysia is already moving into a transitional phase and making efforts to rebuild its healthcare travel industry , an economic sector that was flourishing before the pandemic broke out .
Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah , Malaysia ’ s Director General of Health , told us that the country was confident it could make a successful transition thanks to its high vaccination rates , the arrival of new COVID-19 antiviral medicines , and a sturdy national testing policy , but he stressed that a cautious approach was still needed as the novel coronavirus was still evolving .
As part of the transitional phase , Malaysia will open its borders to international travellers , an important move to revive healthcare travel . The government agency promoting the industry will also deploy a compre-hensive strategic plan to attract back the millions of overseas patients who visited Malaysia pre-pandemic . In an interview with the CEO of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council , we delve into the details of that plan .
We also sat down with Dr Leong Hoe Nam , a leading infectious disease specialist in Singapore , to gain insights into how the city-state is managing the current stage of the pandemic and what should be done in order to prevent future health crises of similar magnitude . This is a much-needed discussion as COVID-19 is not the last pandemic we will face and there ’ s much we can do now to minimise the impact of future similar outbreaks on public health .
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2 MARCH 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com