Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has been at the forefront of Malaysia's battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now the 56-year-old doctor has just upped his likeable factor a notch, thanks to his reply letter to a young fan, going viral on social media.

The young fan is nine-year-old Lara Khadijah McAfee from Kuala Terengganu, who wrote a letter to Noor Hisham on April 17, thanking him for his good work in the health crisis.

Also attached with the letter was a blue loom band, which Lara said she usually makes for her friends to wear on their wrists as a sign of friendship.

"I have made this blue loom band for you, to thank you for all the work you are doing to help the people of Malaysia to stay safe and healthy during this virus outbreak.

"Stay safe, your friend, Lara," she wrote, attaching her mother's mobile number in the correspondence.

Given how busy Noor Hisham has been, providing daily updates on COVID-19 on national TV, and leading the country's fight against COVID-19, he could not be faulted for not noticing the letter, let alone reply to it.

However, the doctor did take time off his busy schedule to answer to the letter, via a reply dated April 16.

"My granddaughter is wearing it and she likes it!

"Your words are too kind but I am not doing it alone. I am lucky to have a great team with me to help our country," he wrote.

"Fellow Malaysians like yourself have been a wonderful help by playing your part by staying at home. This won't be for long and I hope you are not too worried. God willing this will be over soon," he wrote.

Noor Hisham further urged Lara to study hard and get good grades, so that one day, she too can help Malaysia.

He signed off the letter as "from your new friend, Dr Hisham."

Recently, Chinese TV station China Global TV Network (CGTN) recognised Dr Noor Hisham as one of three leading doctors in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, along with the US'infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci and New Zealand’s director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield.

Asked about the recognition, Noor Hisham had said it was a recognition to the country and further attributed it to the team effort displayed among health personnel within the ministry as well as frontliners from other ministries and also the private sector.