COVID-19 Behavioural Science Research needed

In an interview with the Malay Mail, the Malaysian Insight and the Strait Times on the Budget allocation for health activities Prof Datuk Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said that as expected the government has made the decision to immediately tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the effort to procure the vaccine.

Hs said that funds should be allocated to increase the effort for the COVID-19 test kits to be produce locally, this will reduce the dependents imported kits.

He also welcomed the injection of RM100 million for infectious disease research for the Budget 2021. He suggested some of the funds could be used on epidemiological modelling of the coronavirus.

He said the increase of the tax relief increament from RM6,000 to RM8,000 for the medical expenses and an increase from RM500 to RM1,000 for health screening is a good effort.

He said a tax relief for vaccines including for Covid-19, pneumococcal and influenza would reduce the population’s susceptibility to other respiratory infections, however, more would have been helpful.

He also said that the country also needs to carry out behavioural science research to ameliorate pandemic fatigue and into the long-term health, economic and socio-cultural consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as it would give us some much-needed data and help Malaysia improve its pandemic preparedness plan.

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