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It’s especially important to minimize contact with one another during the corona virus outbreak — human-to-human contact is how a virus spreads, after all.

But you know what doesn’t get infected? Frickin’ robots, that’s what. 

Amidst a deadly viral outbreak that has killed over 1,350, the Chinese medical and tech community have been flung into a situation that requires automatons that can carry out various services without endangering any more lives. 

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has been up to the task of deploying autonomous vehicles to deliver medical aid in a crucial area: Wuhan, the very epicenter of the outbreak.

According to a company statement from Feb 6, a robot successfully made a trip from JD’s Renhe delivery station and transported the goods 600 metres away to healthcare workers at Wuhan Ninth Hospital, one of the city’s designated hospitals for treating infected patients. 

Kong Qi, director of JD Logistics’ autopilot research and development department, mentioned that each robot, loaded with around 30 parcels, is capable of monitoring the surrounding environment through sensors that help it avoid roadblocks and pedestrians. The robots use facial recognition when handing over the packages.

The company has also transferred robots from other cities to Wuhan to cover more areas, including quarantined neighborhoods, to make sure unmanned delivery will become the norm in the virus-stricken city, Kong added.

To aid the efforts to combat the outbreak, JD Logistics will also open up its autonomous driving solutions to allow more delivery manufacturers to benefit from the technology. Local media has reported that robots are being used in hospitals in other affected places like Guangzhou, Jiangxi, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

The outbreak so far has been an intense test of China’s technology-heavy solutions, including robots, apps and drones.

-asiaone

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BEIJING – For Malaysians returning to China for work after the Lunar New Year break, festive cookies share space in their baggage with medical supply to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Unlike previous years when they would bring back their favourite Chinese New Year goodies in bulk, this time their bags were stuffed with face masks, gloves, hand sanitisers, alcohol swabs, antiseptic disinfectants and safety goggles.

Some even brought back sanitisers with high alcohol content, only to find this inflammable item forbidden on board the flight.

Most Chinese cities officially started work on Monday after a two-week respite, which included the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

Operations director Asthy Tan and her husband flew from Malaysia to the Chinese capital with four pieces of baggage.

“We have 10 boxes of disposable masks, three boxes each of N95 masks and gloves and 25 bottles of sanitisers in various sizes.

“Some of them are for our friends,” she said.

To prepare for her 14-day quarantine at home, Tan, 40, also brought back an assortment of biscuits, packets of cooking pastes, bee hoon and her favourite instant teh tarik.

Film director Michael Wong took an extra step in protecting his family from the disease.

As soon as they boarded the plane, they wiped their seats, arm rests and trays with disinfectant.

“Luckily, no one complained,” Wong, 48, said.

In preparation for the two-week quarantine, his house has now become a mini store and pharmacy with 500 sachets of Malaysian coffee, six containers of biscuits, a variety of pastries and 10 boxes of surgical masks, gloves, alcohol swabs and sanitisers.

“It’s a whole new experience for me this time even though I went through the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003.

“I had just got married then but now I have two children and three cats.

“The responsibility has grown so I have to be extra careful,” he said.

Scheduled to fly from Sabah on Feb 16, project manager Arthur Pang has decided to leave behind bulky and heavy clothing like jeans to make room for medical supplies and food stuff.

“I bought a lot without realising that my bags were already full,” said the 46-year-old.

Pang said he would be bringing over 100 pieces of masks, 500 pieces of alcohol swabs, 200 latex gloves, a thermometer, a few bottles of cod liver oil and Vitamin C.

“I am also going to stuff my luggage with instant noodles, beverages and canned food like sardines and curry chicken, ” he added.

-asiaone

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KUALA LUMPUR – Seramai 242 mangsa meninggal dunia akibat Covid-19 semalam, menjadikan 12 Februari merupakan hari yang paling tertinggi kadar kematian sejak virus ini dilaporkan pada hujung tahun lalu.

Suruhanjaya Kesihatan Hubei turut melaporkan sebanyak 14,840 kes positif baharu semalam menjadikan kes positif keseluruhan sebanyak 59,539 kes di China dan 60,062 kes di seluruh dunia.

Selain itu, seramai 5,702 pesakit Covid-19 juga dilaporkan telah sembuh sepenuhnya.

Sementara itu, Kementerian Kesihatan Singapura dalam satu kenyataan turut mengesahkan kes positif Covid-19 di negara itu mencecah seramai 50 orang, menjadikan negara di selatan tanah air itu sebagai negara yang paling terjejas selain China.

Kementerian Kesihatan Singapura mengatakan separuh daripada jumlah kes positif itu tidak pernah pergi atau berhubungan dengan orang China.

-sinarharian

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Chinese Android smartphone giants Huawei Technologies, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi Corp are joining forces to create a new platform for overseas developers to distribute apps onto all of their online stores simultaneously, in a move analysts said is meant to challenge the dominance of Google Play.

The four technology companies are ironing out kinks in what is known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA).

This platform aims to make it easier for developers of games, music, movies and other apps for Android smartphones to expand in markets around the world, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The GDSA was initially targeted to launch in March, although it is not clear how that will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the sources said.

A prototype website said the platform will initially cover nine “regions”, including India, Indonesia and Russia.

All four major Chinese smartphone vendors declined to comment for this story. Oppo and Vivo are both owned by Chinese manufacturer BBK Electronics.

Internet search powerhouse Google, whose services are banned in China, earned about US$8.8 billion (S$12 billion) globally from Google Play – the official app store for the Android operating system – in 2019, said Katie Williams, an analyst at Sensor Tower.

Google also sells content such as movies, books and apps on its eponymous app store and collects a 30 per cent commission. Google, the main subsidiary of tech conglomerate Alphabet, did not respond to a request for comment.

“By forming this alliance each company will be looking to leverage the others’ advantages in different regions, with Xiaomi’s strong user base in India, Vivo and Oppo in Southeast Asia, and Huawei in Europe,” said Nicole Peng, the vice-president of mobility research at Canalys. “Secondly, it’s to start to build some more negotiation power against Google.”

Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi combined to make up 40.1 per cent of global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the technology research firm IDC.

While Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi have full access to Google services in international markets, Huawei lost access for new devices last year after Washington added the Shenzhen-based company to a US trade blacklist over security concerns.

That bars American hi-tech suppliers from selling goods and services to Huawei.

Chinese vendors are trying to capture a greater share of software and services as hardware sales slow, said Will Wong, a smartphone analyst with IDC. “App store, pre-loading apps, advertisements and gaming are areas that could generate new revenue” Wong said.

Huawei has initiated efforts to move away from Google by developing its own Harmony OS as an alternative.

The GDSA’s website includes the logo of Wanka Online, a Hong Kong-listed Android “ecosystem” platform next to a contact for the GDSA’s General Secretariat. Wanka declined to confirm its involvement.

Analysts said the GDSA might be able to lure some app developers by providing more exposure than the already-crowded Google Play. The new platform could also provide better monetary incentives.

“By making it simple for developers to increase their reach across multiple app stores, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi stand to attract more developers and, ultimately, more apps,” said Sensor Tower’s Williams.

Managing the alliance, however, may be a challenge, according to Peng of Canalys.

“The execution is difficult, as its hard to say which company is pulling more weight and investing more in it. We haven’t seen the alliance model work well in the past.”

AsiaOne

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Apparently unhappy that the hospital had run out of the medication he needed, a man in Xiaogan, a city in Hubei, China, pulled down his mask and coughed at the hospital staff.

The two staff members immediately got up from their seats and ran away from him.

According to Shangyou News, the man had just returned home to Xiaogan from Wuhan when he started feeling feverish. He had initially gone to Xiaogan Central Hospital for treatment but hadn’t recovered, hence he went to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for a second checkup on Monday afternoon (Jan 27).

Even though the doctor wrote a prescription for him, the patient was informed that the medication was unavailable.

In the hospital’s CCTV footage, the man could be seen handing over a card to the staff behind the counter before pulling down his mask to cough at them.

A woman could be heard explaining that the man had a high fever of 39 degrees for four days. After finding out they had run out of the medicine in his prescription, the patient allegedly threw a temper and demanded a refund.

The man was merely suffering from a case of the regular cold and fever, a hospital representative told PearVideo.

After the patient left, the area was quickly disinfected and the hospital reported the incident to the police department. The man has since been located and he has consented to co-operate with the authorities.

“This incident left a lot of our staff angry,” the director of the hospital told The Paper. “But we can understand how the patient felt at that moment. We don’t want to cause problems for him either.”

AsiaOne

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Police in eastern China have detained five people on suspicion of carrying out a scam that aimed to convince people to part with their money in return for a share of trillions of US dollars that have been frozen since the defeated Nationalist forces fled the mainland at the end of the civil war.

Officers found fake army uniforms and a number of forged documents when they detained the three women and two men at a hotel in Shandong province last week, the Yimeng Evening News reported.

The gang is accused of promising investors a share from a fund worth trillions of US dollars that they said had been established by the Nationalists 70 years ago and claimed they were working for special task forces established by the UN and China’s Central Military Commission to unlock the assets.

The faked documents were said to include United Nations permits and even a gun licence issued by the last imperial dynasty, the Qing.

The group is accused of using a variety of forged documents to convince people to part with their cash. PHOTO: South China Morning Post

The report said the five had confessed they were members of a ring known as the International Plum Blossom, which has been operating similar scams for a decade.

They were placed under criminal detention after they were questioned by police while eating at a hotel in Linyi city.

Police say the man then phoned someone he described as the “top leading comrade” and warned that the policemen could be suspended for carrying out further checks.

The haul included fake deposits or trillions of dollars from major banks. PHOTO: South China Morning Post

This failed to deter the officers, who took the group to the police station for further questioning.

When they searched their bags, police say they found a variety of documents including fake deposits from Citibank and HSBC worth several trillion US dollars and an order from the Kuomintang government to transfer the money to Taiwan, where the Nationalists fled in 1949 after being defeated.

Teng reportedly confessed that the documents were used to convince people – particularly the elderly – to invest in a crowdfunding project to unlock the money. Would-be investors were offered up to 10 per cent of the total funds.

The scam was included in a warning list of 100 frauds the Ministry of Public Security published earlier this year.

It is not known how many people have fallen victim to it over the years, but it has been going on for at least 40 years, according to a report published on Fujian province’s official news portal.

The report highlighted the 2010 case of a man who had invested more than 700,000 yuan (just over S$135,000 in today’s money) over 30 years in the hope of getting a share of the KMT funds.

AsiaOne

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Seorang budak lelaki berusia 10 tahun diselamatkan polis selepas ditinggalkan di stesen kereta api dan diarahkan mengemis oleh bapanya sebagai hukuman kerana tidak menyiapkan kerja sekolah.

Polis mendapat panggilan jam 4.45 pagi mengenai seorang budak lelaki dengan beg sekolah melutut di depan stesen kereta api mengemis makanan, lapor South China Morning Post.

Kanak-kanak itu yang hanya memakai jaket untuk melindungi daripada sejuk berkata, dia ditinggalkan di situ 45 minit sebelumnya ketika ayahnya pergi bekerja.

“Saya dihukum kerana tidak menghabiskan kerja sekolah,” katanya dipetik Kankan News.

Menurut laporan, bapanya memberinya mangkuk dan mengarahkannya melutut serta ‘mengemis untuk makanan sebagai hukuman.’

Polis membawa budak itu ke balai sebelum memberi minuman panas dan biskut selain menghubungi ibunya yang tiba sejam kemudian.

Harian Metro

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Tak ada ‘cash’ pun tak apa!

December 3, 2019 | Viral | No Comments

PENGGUNAAN aplikasi WeChat di Malaysia tidak sehebat berbanding di China dan jangan terkejut apabila kebanyakan penduduknya menggunakan aplikasi berkenaan untuk berurusan termasuklah untuk tujuan mengemis.

Perkara tersebut dikongsi pengguna akaun Facebook, Fazil Irwan yang menceritakan bagaimana rakannya didatangi seorang pengemis wanita ketika berada di negara terbabit yang meminta wang, namun rakannya memberitahu tidak membawa wang tunai.

Bagaimanapun, jawapan pengemis tersebut di luar jangkaan apabila mencadangkan kepada rakan tersebut supaya wang sedekah dibuat melalui aplikasi WeChat Pay.

“Pengemis berkenaan memberitahu tidak mengapa, anda boleh membayar melalui WeChat. Begitulah katanya,” kata Fazil dalam hantarannya.

Fazil turut berkongsi gambar kejadian tersebut yang kini tular di media sosial dengan 22,000 tanda suka, 15,000 pengguna alam maya berkongsi gambar tersebut dan rata-rata netizen terkejut serta tidak menyangka urusan mengemis juga turut digunakan dalam aplikasi WeChat.

“Wah, tak sangka negara yang memang sebuah negara yang kini ke depan dalam pembangunan teknologi sehinggakan pengemis boleh masuk duit derma hanya melalui WeChat Pay sahaja. Fuh dahsyat,” tulis Lim San di Facebook.

Danim Idham pula memberitahu, “Senangnya cara cari duit sekarang ya, mana taknya, kalau bagi alasan tiada duit tunai atau duit kecil, boleh ‘bank in’. Ini kalau dekat Malaysia, tak jadi apalah engkau pengemis.”

-SINARHARIAN

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Beberapa pembeli rumah di satu kawasan pangsapuri baharu terkejut dan kecewa selepas pemandangan taman yang dijanjikan pemaju, hanyalah rekaan dalam risalah pemaju malah kolam buatan yang dijanjikan itu cuma kawasan tanah yang ditutup plastik biru.

Perkara itu hanya diketahui pembeli berkenaan sewaktu mengambil kunci rumah selepas melihat tiada kawasan taman seperti yang dijanjikan pemaju di Beichen Central Park di Changsha, wilayah Hunan, lapor South China Morning Post.

Saluran TV Hunan Satellite melaporkan, selain dijanjikan ‘kawasan yang dilindungi tumbuh-tumbuhan tinggi’ dan ‘gaya hidup taman,’ pemilik baru turut dikejutkan dengan kawasan awam dilitupi plastik biru yang kononnya seperti tasik dan satu jambatan kayu kecil.

“Saya berdiri di tengah-tengah ‘air biru’ yang sebenarnya tidak wujud malah tiada batu atau tumbuhan (sebagai hiasan),” kata seorang pembeli rumah.

Di kawasan yang lebih besar, kelihatan blok berturap dilitupi lumpur kuning dan dihiasi dengan rumput kering yang sepatutnya adalah rumput hijau segar.

“Kami sangat tidak berpuas hati melihat blok ‘turapan’ rumput ini. Ia kebiasaannya digunakan untuk laluan masuk atau tempat letak kereta.

“Tetapi sini bukan kawasan tempat letak kereta. Ia kawasan terbuka di luar setiap pintu masuk bangunan tetapi mereka mendakwanya kawasan yang ada tumbuhan,” kata seorang lagi pemilik rumah.

Menurutnya, keadaan itu tidak boleh diterima malah boleh membahayakan kanak-kanak dan orang tua.

Pemaju, Changsha Shiji Yujing Real Estate bagaimanapun mempertahankan tindakan mereka dengan berkata, mereka tidak pernah menjanjikan tasik buatan di komuniti perumahan itu walaupun terdapat di dalam risalah.

Seorang kakitangan syarikat berkata, blok turapan rumput dibina mengikut piawaian kerajaan.

“Kami membinanya kerana perlu mengambil kira keperluan keselamatan kebakaran dan landskap,” katanya.

Menurut laporan, pejabat pentadbir masyarakat mengadakan pertemuan dengan wakil pemilik dan akan bekerjasama dengan jabatan bomba serta jabatan perancangan bandar untuk menyelesaikan masalah berkenaan.

Harian Metro

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 Seorang lelaki mahu membunuh diri selepas isterinya membelanja lebih RMB300,000 yuan (RM177,552) membeli-belah dalam talian sempena jualan 11.11, malam Ahad lalu.

Kejadian itu berlaku di Luzhou, wilayah Sichuan selepas Wang, 29, tertekan kerana isterinya Zhan berbelanja besar membeli pelbagai barangan.

Menurut Red Star News, Zhan, 29, tertarik dengan diskaun hebat yang ditawarkan peniaga pada jualan harga runtuh 11.11, kelmarin.

Pasangan itu dilaporkan bertengkar sebelum Wang ke bumbung sebuah apartmen 33 tingkat dan mahu terjun dari bangunan itu.

Polis berjaya menenangkan Wang dalam tempoh 30 minit dan turut meminta dia memikirkan nasib anak kecilnya.

Wang yang menerima bayaran gaji beberapa ribu sebulan sebagai jurujual berjanji akan bekerja lebih keras untuk melangsaikan hutang isterinya.

Sebelum ini, isterinya membelanja sebanyak RMB200,000 (RM118,341) dalam talian membeli beg mewah, minyak wangi dan pakaian menggunakan kad kredit atau pinjaman bank.

Ketagihan wanita itu membeli-belah bertambah teruk susulan berhenti kerja selepas melahirkan anak pada tahun lalu.

-Harian Metro

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