COVID-19 – Real-time syndromic surveillance needed

On Saturday, Malaysia saw the highest rise in the daily reported number of COVID-19 cases, climbing to 317. This has raised concern among the public. In an interview with the Star newspaper discussing the current situation, Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud pointed out that the country is lack of an extensive real-time syndromic surveillance system. He said, due to the lack of the real-time surveillance system, Malaysia continues to be reactive rather than proactive in our action.

Dr Awang proposed a system linking all Internet-ready Health Ministry clinics to conduct such syndromic surveillance in real-time. Syndromic surveillance systems seek to use existing health data in real-time to provide immediate analysis and feedback to those in charge of the investigation and follow-up of potential outbreaks.

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