COVID-19: Where science meets the headlines

Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia is an independent information resource centre aimed at promoting accurate and evidence-based reporting especially on complex or controversial science issues in the media.

As COVID-19 takes centre stage, we help you to better understand the pandemic by bringing you the latest research and expert reactions on the novel coronavirus.

Our Latest

[Q&A] COVID-19: What is a Super Spreader?

The latest Sivagangga cluster from Kedah was suspected of being caused by a super spreader strain of the COVID-19 virus that originated from Egypt and Pakistan. Health authorities believed there is a high probability that the cluster is a super spreader because of its higher transmission rate compared to previous COVID-19 clusters. We spoke to Associate Prof. Dr Chan Yoke Fun, Virologist & Senior Lecturer at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya to learn more.

[MEDIA RELEASE] Impact of COVID-19 on Hepatitis Elimination

Viral hepatitis is a communicable disease that can cause serious liver damage and liver cancer. Deaths from viral hepatitis, the majority (96%) are due to hepatitis B and C, are rising worldwide compared to the downward trend for the other three most common causes of communicable diseases. However, hepatitis is preventable, treatable, and for Hepatitis C, curable with timely treatment.

[OPINION] Connecting experts in the interest of science

As the world grapples with COVID-19, healthcare professionals are working round the clock to keep COVID-19 patients alive, medical scientists are racing to develop treatments and vaccines, epidemiologists are modelling infection rates to predict how the virus will continue to spread, and science journalists are disseminating news while battling the spread of misinformation.

[OPINION] Microplastic Pollution and Health

Microplastics, broadly defined < 5 mm, are plastic particles of different shape, size and polymer composition. Recently, there has been extensive media coverage on microplastic pollution including news release from the World Health Organization on the potential environmental health threat from microplastics. Single-use plastics and inappropriate plastic waste management are the primary reasons for pollution.

[Q&A] Know Your Microbiome: Your Questions, Our answers

We celebrated World Microbiome Day 2020 over the weekend by hosting a webinar “Gut feeling is real science: Know your gut microbiome!” with our expert speakers from Malaysia and Singapore who provided insights on the connection of gut microbiome to our health and mental state. During the live session, we received many questions from viewers but did not have time to get to everyone. So as promised, here are answers to some of the questions we did not get a chance to answer.

[OPINION] Have we found the panacea to COVID-19 with remdesivir, an old but newly packaged drug?

As of 12 May 2020, 4,425,094 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with deaths reaching 297,723.Doctors are desperately looking for an effective drug, and there have been a number of candidates on trial; one of them, remdesivir, is probably the most exciting of all. This is the drug developed for the Ebola epidemic in 2015, but it was found to be less effective in clinical trials than in in vitro studies. Is remdesivir the panacea for COVID-19?

Testimonials

The need and importance of effective science communication is clearly highlighted in this COVID-19 pandemic. Communicating science between scientists and the general public, policy makers and other stakeholders is an essential element of outbreak management plan. The public and policy makers must be able to understand the basics of science before they can make informed decisions. But scientists need a platform to share their knowledge, research data and information to the public and policy makers. And the Science Media Centre Malaysia provides a great platform for scientists to reach out.

Photo of Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

In a fast-paced newsroom, journalists are always busy and rushing to meet deadlines. With the COVID-19 coverage, we are constantly seeking out information and expert insights to accurately explain about the global pandemic particularly on the aspects of infection and treatment. COVID-19 requires a greater understanding of science and the Science Media Centre Malaysia is a good place for journalists to source for experts’ quotes and we also get story ideas by reading about the latest scientific research.

Photo of Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail

Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail