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Korean J Fam Med > Volume 42(6); 2021 > Article
Korean Journal of Family Medicine 2021;42(6):425-437.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.20.0117    Published online November 20, 2021.
Malaysia Healthcare Early Response in Combatting COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020
Safiya Amaran1  , Ahmad Zulfahmi Mohd Kamaruzaman2,3  , Nurul Yaqeen Mohd Esa4  , Zaharah Sulaiman2 
1Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
2School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Malaysia
3Training Management Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya, Malaysia
4Sunway Medical Centre Velocity, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Corresponding author:  Zaharah Sulaiman, Tel: +60-197585172, Fax: +60-97656532, 
Email: zaharah@usm.my
Received: 18 May 2020   • Revised: 14 June 2020   • Accepted: 18 June 2020
Abstract
The year 2020 saw the emergence of a novel coronavirus—the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2— which has led to an unprecedented pandemic that has shaken the entire world. The pandemic has been a new experience for Malaysia, especially during the implementation of large-scale public health and social measures called the Movement Control Order (MCO). This paper seeks to describe the experiences of the Malaysian healthcare system thus far in combatting the pandemic. The Malaysian healthcare system comprises two main arms: public health and medicine. The public health arm focuses on early disease detection, contact tracing, quarantines, the MCO, and risk stratification strategies in the community. The medical arm focuses on the clinical management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients; it encompasses laboratory services, the devising of clinical setting adjustments, and hospital management for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Malaysia experienced intense emotions at the beginning of the pandemic, with great uncertainty regarding the pandemic’s outcome, as the world saw a frighteningly high COVID-19 mortality. As of writing (May 30, 2020), Malaysia has passed the peak of its second wave of infections. The experience thus far has helped in preparing the country’s healthcare system to be vigilant and more prepared for future COVID-19 waves. To date, the pandemic has changed many aspects of Malaysia’s life, and people are still learning to adapt to new norms in their lives.
Key Words: COVID-19; Malaysia; Healthcare; Public Health; Disease Management; Pandemic
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