The ASEAN countries have agreed on the Mutual Recognition of Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates to facilitate smooth and seamless cross-border travel, says the Health Ministry.
According to Bernama, Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said the matter was agreed upon at the ASEAN Health Ministers’ meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on 14 May.
“This recognition will be implemented using the ASEAN Universal Verification Mechanism or other mechanisms that have been developed based on the technical specifications of the World Health Organisation (WHO).”
“It aims to facilitate the verification of Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued by each ASEAN member country,” he said, adding that Malaysia appreciates Indonesia’s efforts to take the initiative to lead the development of the ASEAN Universal Verification Mechanism.
He said the mechanism has high potential to support the ASEAN member countries that did not yet have a Covid-19 vaccination certificate verification system.
“It is important to have a smooth re-opening of borders and further accelerate the process of ASEAN’s recovery from Covid-19,” he added.
Meanwhile, he also said Malaysia is ready to work with ASEAN member countries in implementing the mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccine certificates to ensure the development of a healthier and safer ASEAN region.
The meeting also focuses on strengthening the resilience of the ASEAN health system as well as the region’s recovery from Covid-19.
Aaron said that Malaysia would also be leading the ‘Project for Strengthening Laboratory Capacity on Covid-19 Bio Genomic for ASEAN Countries’ under the ‘Strengthening Regional Initiatives in ASEAN on Covid-19 Response and other Public Health Initiatives’.
“This project will focus on technical aspects in the implementation of the whole genome sequencing of Covid-19, viral mutation detection, construction of the Covid-19 phylogenetic tree as well as genome analysis and activating the Covid-19 surveillance system. This initiative is expected to drive ASEAN in recovering from Covid-19,” he said.
The meeting also had a special session for the ASEAN-US Health Ministerial Meeting to discuss the way forward in terms of health cooperation, with the theme ‘Charting ASEAN-US Future Collaboration Towards Strengthening Health Systems for Public Health Emergencies’.
Aaron said Malaysia will continue to commit to work on the ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three platforms with the Republic of Korea, Japan and China in efforts to strengthen the resilience of the Covid-19 post-pandemic health and rehabilitation system in the ASEAN region as well as being an ASEAN dialogue partner.
“Malaysia also fully supports the development and implementation of the ASEAN-Post 2015 Health Development Agenda (APHDA) as well as programmes and activities under the ASEAN Health Cluster,” he said.