In an interview with the News Straits Times newspaper, Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar the Director of the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya proposed an integrated pandemic preparedness plan to tackle the COVID-19. It would include employing scientists with different expertise working together with the Ministry of Health.
He said that the SARS CoV 2 is mutating, with eight different strains currently spreading across the world. With genome sequencing, scientists will be able to monitor the changes of the virus to understand its transmission and to identify the different strains in the country.
He said that TIDREC houses the only high level biocontainment laboratory in the country certified to meet the World Health Organisation and European Union requirements. The lab can handle any highly virulent pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2. TRIDEC is looking into developing antivirals for SARS CoV 2.