Manyin gives assurance Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre will be completed by 2024

SRDC deputy general manager Dr Ivan Yap (right) gives a briefing about the SIDC building to Abang Johari while Manyin (left) looks on. Photo: Sarawak Information Department

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 16: Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong has given assurance that the construction of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) will be completed by 2024.

The State Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) Minister said the Sarawak’s first fully Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) integrated research facility aimed at fortifying the State’s preparedness for future pandemics, was first mooted by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg in late December last year.

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Biosafety Level (BSL) refers to biocontainment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed laboratory facility.

The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to the highest at level 4 (BSL-4).

“We (Sarawak Research and Development Council and the Ministry) are nervous because the dateline is so near — 2024, that is about two years from now.

“However, we will rise to the challenge and we believe that it (the Centre) will be operational by 2024,” he said when speaking at the earth-breaking ceremony for SIDC along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway today.

Manyin who is the Tebedu incumbent and an SRDC member, also mentioned that SIDC will focus on two core themes.

They are to develop the capacity and knowledge to respond to future pandemics and emerging threats, through human capital development and impactful research; and translating biomedical research into applications such as diagnostics tools, treatments and vaccines.

The centre will also complement and collaborate with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in tackling infectious diseases in Sarawak.

Elaborating further, Manyin said the Centre will be equipped with BSL-3 laboratories to allow research and development on BSL-3 infectious agents, and subsequently product testing to ensure commercialisation of research and development (R&D) output.

“We envisage this centre to bring together talents regionally and internationally, and attract global biomedical companies to ensure Sarawak is prepared for future challenges,” he emphasised.

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, MESTR Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, and SRDC general manager Dr Peter Morin Nissom. — DayakDaily

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