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Malaysia to build infectious disease institute: Ismail Sabri Yaakob

M'sia Prime Minister says it aims to prevent diseases and deaths from infectious diseases

KUALA LUMPUR: An infectious disease institute will be developed in Bandar Enstek, Negeri Serembilan, under the under 12th Malaysia Plan, said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.

"The Malaysian Infectious Disease Institute will be built in Bandar Enstek in 2022.

"The institute aims to prevent diseases, infirmities and deaths due to infectious diseases," he said when tabling the plan in Parliament.

With RM400 billion (S$130 billion) allocated for new and existing projects, it is the country's biggest five-year road map - 54 per cent bigger than the 11th Malaysia Plan unveiled in 2016 that had set aside RM260 billion.

He said part of the plan was to strengthen the nation's healthcare system.

"The government will review the effectiveness of the present healthcare system and will draft national health policies to improve the nation's readiness in managing infectious diseases and health crises," he added.

He also said that a road map for the development of the nation's own Covid-19 vaccine is being finalised.

Mr Ismail added that new health facilities will also be developed nationwide over the next five years on top of the 12 new hospitals that are being built.

"The government has also identified proactive steps to increase hospital readiness to achieve a ratio of 2.06 hospital beds per 1,000 people by 2025."

DELAYED

The Plan, A Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable Malaysia, has been delayed by more than a year from the Covid-19 crisis.

It also aims to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2025 and eradicate abject poverty.

"The 12th Malaysia Plan is a comprehensive development plan that will introduce a number of reforms to ensure sustainable economic growth and more equal distribution of opportunities and results," Mr Ismail said.

Malaysia's export-driven economy has taken a hit from the pandemic.

The central bank slashed its full-year growth forecast to 3 per cent to 4 per cent from 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent last month - the second cut this year.

Some developments include new highways and rail networks linking rural areas with urban and industrial hubs. - THE STAR, THE STRAITS TIMES, REUTERS

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