Sarawak to have RM190 mil infectious disease centre in Samarahan

By Emma Victoria

THE SARAWAK government has set aside RM190 million to establish an infectious diseases research and development centre in Samarahan, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg said the centre will allow local and international scientists to work together to identify source materials and develop new drugs that can control or mitigate the spread of new diseases.

“This is where the scientists can work and collaborate with academia, government, and credible institutions around the globe.

“We are looking at (possible) collaborations with Oxford and Cambridge universities as well as the Imperial College London to do R&D on tropical diseases, which I think will be a first in Malaysia,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the First Global Summit on Viral-Immunology and Antiviral Therapy of Covid-19 at UiTM Samarahan campus today.

“We cannot run away from Covid-19 neither can we say ‘give us a time break’ but I believe with proper management we can find a way around the problems at hand and move ahead.”

“I am a firm believer in the power of research and development, and Covid-19 won’t stop research from being carried out for it is only through research that solutions can be found in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

Abang Johari also said the conference provided a platform for local and international participants from both academia and industry to present their knowledge and latest research findings.