The World Health Organisation (WHO) is pleased with Malaysia's level of preparedness in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the matter was informed at a recent meeting between WHO and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

"What Malaysia is doing is the first method, the MCO (Movement Control Order)," he told reporters at a media conference at MOH here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia's second method of controlling COVID-19 transmission was by conducting active case detection or identifying positive case patients - searching, testing, isolating and treating.

In addition, Malaysia also identified the COVID-19 target groups - those who attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque, illegal immigrants and the Rohingya community, he said.

He said the MoH had also consulted with the local authorities to carry out cleanup exercises of public areas which is expected to be implemented within the next two days.

Asked about the number of doctors in Malaysia at the moment, he said so far there were enough doctors, and the ministry is in the process of recalling 3,000 retired nurses and health workers.

"However, the MoH did not wait for all 3,000 retired medical personnel to come forward to register for employment. For example those who have skills in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and ward have been employed. More than 1,000 retired personnel are already placed in Sungai Buloh Hospital, " he said.

Asked about the teleconference between MOH officials and doctors from China in the afternoon, Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia wanted to know about the new method used by China in treating COVID-19.

"For example the use of Avigan (medicine). The side effects need to be studied first. Even though it is not registered in Malaysia it can get the approval of the director-general of health," he said.

He added among the new methods shared by China is to use the blood of patients who have healed, as plasma to thicken the antibody.

"But MoH is unsure whether this approach is effective or not," he said.