Malaysia reported 190 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with most linked to a religious event at a mosque that was attended by 16,000 people from several countries.
The new cases bring the total number of infections in the country to 428, the health ministry said, making it the worst affected in Southeast Asia.
A total of 243 cases have been linked to the mosque gathering with 9 cases critically ill in intensive care, the ministry said, adding that all event participants and their close contacts will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
About 14,500 Malaysians and 1,500 foreigners attended the religious gathering between Feb. 27 and March 1 at a mosque near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian health authorities have said.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday that the country was facing a “second wave” of infections, and warned of an impact on economic growth.
In neighboring Brunei, 45 of the total 50 cases have been linked to the religious gathering, the health ministry said on Sunday.
In times of crisis, it can either bring out the best in people, or the worst in people, depending on how people chose to react to the crisis. And with the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic now spreading across the world, some truly inexcusable behaviours have been seen exhibited by some people and some companies in response to this public health crisis, as this report from Market Watch goes to show.
In Twitter photos that have since gone viral over the Internet, Saudi Aramco, the world’s most valuable publicly listed company, did the unthinkable amid the Covid-19 outbreak. While other companies may be providing bottles of hand sanitiser to their employees as well as face masks in a bid to protect them from contracting the virus, the petroleum company took this a step further.
They dressed up one of their migrant workers as a hand sanitiser dispenser, and had him walk around the company building to offer hand sanitiser to employees.
His ‘costume’ was even designed to look exactly like the wall-attached hand sanitiser dispensers seen in most bathrooms.
The post, which has since garnered over 6,000 retweets, sparked outrage among netizens online, who call this not only a shameful act, but one that dehumanises a human being completely by treating them like an object. Some have even compared it to modern-day slavery.
The bullying incident at Mee Toh School first came to light when the victim’s sister took to Twitter to express her frustration at the situation on March 6.
She wrote: “My heart broke today, it was my sister’s birthday
yesterday and one of her classmates threw this to her face as ‘birthday
The tweet was accompanied by pictures of a note addressed to her sister.
In the note, the bullies called her sister “stupid and dump [sic]” and told her she looked “so ugly”.
This was not the first time her sister had been bullied, she added.
In a text exchange, the girl revealed that the bullies had also likened her to a dustbin.
The bullies had previously vandalised the Primary 5 student’s uniform with markers, called her names, and abused her online.
Her sister, one of the “handful” of Malay students in the school, had also been subjected to racist comments, she said.
Her sister even resorted to eating her lunch in the toilet so that she could “eat and cry at the same time”.
She had made several attempts to flag the issue up to the school, as well as MOE, but to no avail, she said.
“I’ve emailed the school, turned up for her parent-teacher conference
to confront her teachers about this, I’ve emailed MOE too. But what
have they done? Nothing.”
To add salt to her wounds, her sister was previously made to
apologise to the bullies after she scolded them in an attempt to stand
up for herself.
A teacher also allegedly told the girl’s mother that she would not be
able to switch classes and suggested that she transfer to a different
The Twitter thread sparked outraged responses from many Singaporeans, including actor Hossan Leong.
In response to the backlash, a MOE spokesperson told AsiaOne that
they had investigated the incident and found that several students
“wrote unkind notes” to the victim. The students involved will be
Mee Toh School’s principal, Wang-Tan Sun Sun, told AsiaOne on March
10 that the school met with the victim’s mother and has “provided
support” to the student.
“The school does not condone bullying of any form, including racist remarks made at any individual, ” she said.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung also took to Facebook the same day to express his dismay at the case, writing: “It does not matter whether the students might have done it out of mischief or that they are only Primary 5 students; the fact is that the victim felt that it was a racist act, and that makes it even more unacceptable.”
However, a number of commenters on Ong’s post were unimpressed with
the action taken, pointing out that more should be done to stamp out
bullying in general.
A coffee shop in Bedok recently found itself in the spotlight after a
video showing one of their beer promoters holding a glass of beer to
the lips of a male customer went viral.
The 20-second-long video, posted onto Facebook on March 7, has since racked up over 13,000 shares.
In the clip, the cameraman can also be heard making a remark about how such a service costs $50.
A Shin Min Daily News reporter paid a visit to the coffee shop a day later,
having identified the location as an eatery near 59 New Upper Changi
Road. Both the Tiger Beer promoter and her customer were not present at
the time of the visit.
The young woman, allegedly known as the area’s ‘belle’, would be
questioned by the company that day, or be relocated to another branch,
her colleague told the Chinese daily.
As their company has strict guidelines — beer promoters are not
allowed to wear skirts, sit down with customers or partake in drinking
— she was worried her colleague would lose her job.
According to a stall vendor, the man in the video was one of the beer promoter’s regular customers.
“She asked if he wanted to drink and he said yes, but his hands were holding onto the newspaper so she inadvertently held the cup up to him,” he said. He also denied the videographer’s claims that she offered such a service.
Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) told AsiaOne the beer promoter has
received a stern warning and she has since been transferred to a
The company also emphasised that such behaviour did not comply with its brand promoters policy and they did not condone it.
In addition, APB said it has reminded their beer promoters that they need to strictly observe the policy, which serves to “ensure the safety and well-being of staff from harassment, as well as provide guidance on responsible service.”
Mothers are probably the fussiest type of people out there, more so if they’re Asian.
Though we tend to just call their behaviour kiasu (afraid of losing) instead.
Therefore, it only makes sense that these mums pull out all the stops in preventing the spread of Covid-19 during the outbreak.
For one woman in Malaysia, it meant dousing her own son, who had just returned from Germany, in disinfectant.
The scene was captured in a video titled “How to prevent coronavirus 101 by Asian mum” by Facebook user Qi En on Monday (March 9).
Upon arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Qi En’s brother
was seen walking towards his family, pulling his mask down as he did so.
Instead of a warm hug, their mother pulled out a can of disinfectant and sprayed at him the moment he came close to her.
She didn’t stop there either, circling her son as she continued spraying the disinfectant. Even his luggage wasn’t spared.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
In other clips shared by Qi En, their mum continued to do so even as the family walked back to their car. At some point, her brother gave up and took the can of disinfectant from his mother to spray at himself instead.
Facebook users were definitely tickled by their mum’s actions, but it’s safe to say she’s not alone in being this kiasi (afraid to die).
In a bizarre turn of events, researchers are now looking for volunteers to be infected with the coronavirus in an effort to find a vaccine. This risky proposition, of course, comes with a reward.
According to the Mirror UK, these human guinea pigs will be offered £3,500, equivalent to RM19,231! Volunteers will be paid in exchange for two weeks in a secure London facility where they will be completely cut off from the outside world and will be constantly monitored for symptoms.
The 24 volunteers will be infected with two common strains of coronavirus, 0C43 and 229E, which are similar to COVID-19. Just like the coronavirus, these strains cause symptoms that resemble the actual symptoms shown by a person who is infected by the virus. These two strains are reported to cause a mild respiratory illness.
After simulating the ideal condition, the infected patients will then be used to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and also be tested for antiviral medications. In the laboratory, exercising is a big no-no and physical contact with other people is restricted. Furthermore, their diet will be controlled too.
However, the patients are provided with television and video games to pass their time.
“Each room is equipped with everything you need to relax, including a flat-screen TV, PlayStation 3, WiFi and en-suite bathroom,” stated Hvivo on its official website. Hvivo is the company that owns the laboratory.
Experts say that this experiment is part of a £1.53 billion (That’s over RM5 billion!) worldwide race to find a vaccine for the deadly virus, primarily for sake of the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. This one-of-a-kind human experiment is still at its planning stage because the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will have to agree on Hvivo’s plans for it to proceed further.
While Malaysians have been poking fun at Singaporeans for panic shopping after their DORSCON level was upgraded to orange due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, it seems that paranoia is not something that is exclusive to the island nation. It has been revealed by Oriental Daily that the very same phenomenon has started to happen in Penang, proving that pots are calling kettles black.
This onset of panic shopping was said to have happened after a suspected case of Covid-19 novel coronavirus was reported in the state, which led to many locals in the states to rush to their local supermarkets to stock up on, you guessed it, tissue rolls.
Reporters from the Chinese daily who went on the scene to a number of Penang supermarkets noticed that the primary items that were being hoarded by locals were tissue rolls, tins of biscuits, and instant noodles.
Yeah, they were absolutely not kidding when they said that tissue rolls were the first thing to fly off supermarket shelves!
But the biggest question here is, why would there be a need to stockpile on tissue paper out of all things? In any case, the company whose employee is suspected to be infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus has since been quarantined, and the rest of the company’s employees have been told to work from home.
While this may all be fun and games, remember that panic buying and hoarding is not the solution to keeping yourself safe from infection!
Remember a while back, it was said that the Covid-19 coronavirus could remain dormant and survive on inanimate surfaces for up to 9 days? Well, while most of us have been worried about common surfaces like hand-rails, elevator buttons and public transport hand-grips, we neglect to remember one thing that we use most often, which may also carry the coronavirus according to Yahoo News.
In a recent report from the World Health Organization, people across the world are now advised to use contactless payment systems such as Grab Pay instead of using traditional bank notes, in order to prevent the further spreading of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Why? Apparently, the Covid-19 coronavirus can survive on bank notes for up to several days, hence increasing the chances of infection for those who come into direct contact with bank notes.
But if you do have to handle paper bank notes, you are advised to constantly maintain good hygiene habits and to always wash your hands after handling physical bank notes. It should be noted that most common sanitisers can eradicate the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Well, looks like if you need any further reason to sign up for Grab Pay or any other contactless payment system, this is the one you need!
With the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Malaysia, bringing the total up to 50, citizens have been warier than ever about visiting medical institutions. Rest assured, authorities are doing the best that they can to contain the situation and the spread of the virus on our shores.
On 3rd March, Subang Jaya Medical Centre was forced to temporarily close the doors of its emergency room (ER) to perform an extensive cleaning and disinfection of the whole area after three reported cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed as positive at the hospital.
Thankfully, following reports from News Straits Times, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care released a statement, clarifying that the ER was officially reopened at 6pm yesterday (4th March).
RSDH only confirmed that Subang Jaya Medical Centre housed three cases of Covid-19 yesterday as the first two cases were treated at SJMC’s ER department and the third case occurred when a medical staff member contracted the virus after coming into contact with one of the infected patients in the ER.
Greg Brown, the group CEO of RSDH, has since released a statement, assuring the public that the hospital has complied with international standard safety measures to ensure the safety of its employees, doctors, patients and the public.
“We assure the public that we are taking all necessary measures to provide a safe environment for our staff, doctors, patients and everyone who walks through our doors.”
“As part of our strict safety protocols, we have implemented screening stations at all entry points of our hospitals to ensure that all patients and visitors are thoroughly screened in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. Also, we have set up triage areas outside of the ER to manage suspected cases of Covid-19.”
Fortunately, the hospital is up and running again to treat those in need. Stay safe, guys!