Tag Archive : Coronavirus

/ Coronavirus

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia’s annual National Day parade will not be held this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

However, other programmes related to the celebration on Aug 31 may be held with standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, he added.

“For now, there will be no parade. We have not scheduled for it to be held because this event involves large crowds… by the thousands. Social distancing, especially among the public who attend the event, will be hard to put into practice.”

“So, for now, no permission has been given for big celebrations or parades for National Day, ” he said in his regular briefing here on Wednesday (July 8).

Datuk Seri Ismail added that the multimedia and communications minister will announce other programmes, aside from the parade, that will be held in conjunction with National Day.

“Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah will announce the details as well as SOPs that must be followed for programmes related to the National Day celebration, ” he said.


It’s love in the time of the coronavirus.

Norazura Mohd Ali and her husband Agus Santoso Sidik recently got many Malaysians attention after they got married through a wedding ceremony that was not only unique, but ensured it met social distancing guidelines.

According to the their photographer, Farreed Sahar, it was his suggestion to give this unique marriage ceremony a go.

“I had proposed this drive-thru wedding concept to other couples but only Norazura and Agus were brave enough to accept and carry on with this creatively-themed idea. Others were wary as they didn’t want to take the risk to celebrate their weddings in a drive-thru style as it’s definitely not the norm,” Farreed said to the Malay Mail.

The couple, from the Malaysian state of Johor, had informed their guests in advance through their invitation cards that the wedding would be extremely unique due to current circumstances.

Although Malaysia has loosened its quarantine measures, the Southeast Asian nation is still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

According to the couple, their guests had traveled all the way from distant states such as Selangor and Perak despite knowing they’ll only be seeing them for a minute.

“Because my husband and I own a burger stall and have a steady flow of loyal customers, we also wanted to have a wedding ceremony with them witnessing it as well.”

Prior to meeting the couple, there was a checkpoint where guests got their temperatures and personal details taken before handing over offerings in a small box.

The next checkpoint is where guests say their well-wishes while they hand packets of food to the couple, who had obtained permission from the authorities to hold their unique wedding.

If you’re a wedding planner or know of one, you might want to let them know about this. Here’s more images of the couple!

🎉🎉Kemeriahan DRIVE THRU WEDDING Pertama di Malaysia🎉🎉Norazura Mohd Ali & Aguzz Aguss(pemilik perniagaan Burger Viral…

Posted by Farreed Sahar on Isnin, 29 Jun 2020


Covid-19 is turning out to be a more complicated illness than we first thought – and not just a disease of the respiratory system and lungs. We’re also realising it can affect several of our major organs, including the kidneys where it can do serious damage.

It’s not widely known that a quarter of patients needing ventilators to treat coronavirus also need artificial ­kidneys to support their deteriorating renal function.

But the kidneys aren’t the only major organs affected by severe Covid illness. A new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline says doctors treating patients with known or suspected Covid-19 should be vigilant in looking for signs of acute myocardial injury, in other words, signs of a heart attack reports Ingrid Torjesen in the BMJ.

Symptoms of an acute heart attack include chest pain, heart palpitations, massive tiredness and a shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to the respiratory complications of Covid-19 so a heart attack might be missed. It’s crucial to check for one by investigating these symptoms.

A heart attack was seen in almost one in 10 of all patients who died with Covid-19 in Italian hospitals, NICE pointed out. Its new guideline is aimed at helping healthcare professionals, who aren’t specialists in cardiology, identify, monitor and manage patients with Covid-19 and heart problems.

NICE recommends testing for levels of markers of heart injury and ­inflammation present in the blood of patients with cardiac injury. Electrocardiography (ECG) can identify patients with a suspected heart attack. These patients should be frequently monitored to identify cardiac or respiratory deterioration.

If a heart attack is suspected help from a cardiologist should be sought. When there isn’t a clear ­diagnosis of a heart attack then tests for cardiac markers and ECG should be repeated daily in patients for whom suspicion persists.

If the virus invades the heart muscle then myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and heart failure are possibilities.

Graham Lipkin, nephrology consultant and President of the Renal ­Association, has explained that Covid-19 patients may develop acute kidney injury (AKI) for many reasons. One is that they are often dangerously ­dehydrated by the time they arrive at hospital.

We’re also learning that Covid can invade the kidneys, interfering with their crucial task of getting rid of waste and may, in turn, lead to kidney failure.

Then again severe Covid-19 may cause a “cytokine storm” when the body is overtaken by widespread inflammation throughout all our organs. The kidneys often fall prey to this inflammation.

Covid-19 is very complicated.


Malaysians make own face masks

April 9, 2020 | News | No Comments

PETALING JAYA – Due to a shortage of surgical masks, washable fabric masks are becoming an alternative for Malaysians.

Some Malaysians have started making fabric masks and distributing them to those in need as well as teaching others how to make them.

Designer Adam Liew has been making cloth masks and has contributed them for free to three hospitals and also a training centre for special needs.

He prefers and recommends using poplin cotton fabric when making the cloth mask.

“Poplin is primarily made from 100 per cent real cotton, making it lightweight but still retaining its strength.

“The most important for the mask is that it must be made with a double layer with an air-filter, which allows you to replace it with non-woven fabric, antibacterial wet tissues (fragrant and alcohol-free),” he said.

Liew however pointed out that his cloth masks were not medical-grade or approved by the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, he said a common misunderstanding was that cloth masks could be made of any type of fabric.

He said tightly woven fabric was recommended such as plain weave.

“Examples of plain weave fabrics are calico, taffeta, Habutai silk, viole, cotton shirting and muslin,” he said.

Liew, who started researching cloth masks in early March, said he created them based on online articles and materials.

“If anyone with sewing skills would like to explore making cloth masks, I am more than glad to help with my knowledge,” he said.

Sewing studio Maker’s Habitat founder Ching Ng meanwhile posted a popular tutorial online on how to sew a washable fabric mask.

Her video on YouTube, which was posted on March 10, now has about three million views.

The mask in Ng’s tutorial has a filter pocket where a non-woven material, which acts as a filter, is inserted and can be replaced regularly.

In an interview with a regional portal, Ng said the easiest non-woven material would be dried wet wipes or brand new polyester floor wipes.

She said the cost to make a fabric face mask was estimated at between RM6 (S$2) and RM7, adding that old cotton clothing could also be used if they were washed beforehand.

“Anyone with basic sewing skills, even our beginner level students as young as eight years old, can attempt it,” Ng was quoted as saying.

Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming of Universiti Malaya’s medical faculty’s department of social and preventive medicine had said the government should rethink the use of face masks.

In a letter to The Star on April 3, Dr Moy said while universal use of face masks should be considered if there was adequate supply, research on the effectiveness of cloth face masks, which were reusable after washing, should be encouraged.

It was time for the government to make rational recommendations on the appropriate use of face masks to complement other public health measures, she said.

The Health Ministry has reiterated that only those who are unwell or caring for the sick need to wear a mask.

Meanwhile, the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently advised the use of simple cloth face coverings in public settings.

The CDC said cloth face coverings made from household items such as a normal scarf, bandana, hand towel or old t-shirts could be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure while surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare professionals.


A man’s craving for bak kut teh landed him in the soup, as he was charged on Tuesday (April 7) for breaching a stay-home notice (SHN).

Alan Tham Xiang Sheng, 33, had shared photos of his meal on Facebook after returning from a three-day holiday to Myanmar on March 23.

His post sparked a backlash on social media, with many people calling him out for his irresponsible behaviour.

The online furore even caught the attention of Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, who called for the case to be investigated, warning that those caught flouting SHN rules will be charged in court.

Upon his return, Tham was served an SHN which meant that he was supposed to stay home from March 23 to April 6.

However, he went to several places — a food centre at Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, Peninsula Plaza in North Bridge Road, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre and NTUC FairPrice supermarket in Woodlands Drive 71 — between 3.40pm and 10pm on March 23.

He had thought that his stay-home notice started the day after his return, Tham said.

The stay-home notice, issued to all travellers returning from abroad since March 20, requires them to remain home at all times.

They are not allowed to go out, even if it is to purchase food and essentials. They’re also asked to avoid contact with the people they live with, and are not allowed to have visitors to their residences.

The stay-home notice was introduced as a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Singapore.

Tham is one of two Singaporeans who were charged for breaching stay-home notices.

Another man, Palanivelu Ramasamy, 48, was given an SHN by an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer on March 21.

He was supposed to stay in his Towner Road flat for two weeks but allegedly left his residence “without reasonable excuse” at around 3.45pm nine days later, according to court documents.

Palanivelu was said to have taken public transportation to and from Goldhill Plaza, near Newton Road, where he went around delivering newspapers.

Both men indicated that they will plead guilty to their charges, and will be back in court on April 16.

Under the Infectious Disease Act, if found guilty, they can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.


Underfed and chained up for endless hours, many elephants working in Thailand’s tourism sector may starve, be sold to zoos or be shifted into the illegal logging trade, campaigners warn, as the coronavirus decimates visitor numbers.

Before the virus, life for the kingdom’s estimated 2,000 elephants working in tourism was already stressful, with abusive methods often used to ‘break them’ into giving rides and performing tricks at money-spinning animal shows.

With global travel paralysed the animals are unable to pay their way, including the 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of food a day a captive elephant needs to survive.

lephant camps and conservationists warn hunger and the threat of renewed exploitation lie ahead, without an urgent bailout.

“My boss is doing what he can but we have no money,” Kosin, a mahout  — or elephant handler — says of the Chiang Mai camp where his elephant Ekkasit is living on a restricted diet.

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northern tourist hub, an area of rolling hills dotted by elephant camps and sanctuaries ranging from the exploitative to the humane.

Footage sent to AFP from another camp in the area shows lines of elephants tethered by a foot to wooden poles, some visibly distressed, rocking their heads back and forth.

Around 2,000 elephants are currently “unemployed” as the virus eviscerates Thailand’s tourist industry, says Theerapat Trungprakan, president of the Thai Elephant Alliance Association.

The lack of cash is limiting the fibrous food available to the elephants “which will have a physical effect”, he added.

Wages for the mahouts who look after them have dropped by 70 per cent.

Theerapat fears the creatures could soon be used in illegal logging activities along the Thai-Myanmar border — in breach of a 30-year-old law banning the use of elephants to transport wood.

Others “could be forced (to beg) on the streets,” he said.

It is yet another twist in the saga of the exploitation of elephants, which animal rights campaigners have long been fighting to protect from the abusive tourism industry.

‘Crisis point’

For those hawking a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the giant creatures — whether from afar or up close — the slump began in late January.

Chinese visitors, who make up the majority of Thailand’s 40 million tourists, plunged by more than 80 per cent in February as China locked down cities hard-hit by the virus and banned external travel.

By March, the travel restrictions into Thailand — which has 1,388 confirmed cases of the virus — had extended to Western countries.

With elephants increasingly malnourished due to the loss of income, the situation is “at a crisis point,” says Saengduean Chailert, owner of Elephant Nature Park.

Her sanctuary for around 80 rescued pachyderms only allows visitors to observe the creatures, a philosophy at odds with venues that have them performing tricks and offering rides.

She has organised a fund to feed elephants and help mahouts in almost 50 camps nationwide, fearing the only options will soon be limited to zoos, starvation or logging work.

For those restrained by short chains all day, the stress could lead to fights breaking out, says Saengduean, of camps that can no longer afford medical treatment for the creatures.

Calls are mounting for the government to fund stricken camps to ensure the welfare of elephants.

“We need 1,000 baht a day (S$43) for each elephant,” says Apichet Duangdee, who runs the Elephant Rescue Park.

Freeing his eight mammals rescued from circuses and loggers into the forests is out of the question as they would likely be killed in territorial fights with wild elephants.

He is planning to take out a two million baht loan soon to keep his elephants fed.

“I will not abandon them,” he added.


INISIATIF kerajaan China dalam membendung penularan wabak COVID-19 sehingga angka jangkitan virus berkenaan di negara itu berhasil ‘dikawal’ boleh dianggap suatu kejayaan.

Walaupun wabak itu masih mencatatkan peningkatan di seluruh dunia, China sebaliknya berjaya mengawal penularan itu.

Setakat ini, China merekodkan sejumlah 81, 029 kes, dengan peningkatan sebanyak 22 kes sejak Sabtu.

Berdasarkan statistik, ia jauh lebih kecil berbanding peningkatan dalam tempoh 24 jam di Britain dengan 208 kes baharu dalam tempoh 24 jam.

Penutupan seluruh bandar

China telah melakukan kerja-kerja pembendungan terbaik dengan mengisytiharkan darurat ketat pada 23 Januari lalu di Wuhan serta 15 bandar lain di wilayah Hubei bagi mengekang wabak itu daripada terus menular.

Seramai 56 juta penduduk terkesan dengan pengisytiharan itu di mana semua pintu pengangkutan awam (bas, keretapi, penerbangan dan feri), premis perniagaan, kilang-kilang, pejabat serta sekolah turut ditutup rapat.

Malah, petugas kesihatan turut dikerahkan dari seluruh China hanya untuk membantu merawat pesakit yang dijangkiti virus pembunuh itu.

Pembinaan dua hospital

Dua hospital juga dibina hanya dalam masa dua minggu bagi menampung jumlah pesakit yang semakin meningkat setiap hari. Bukan sahaja langkah pembendungan dilakukan di negara itu, malah usaha pengawalan dan pengawasan turut dipertingkat dari semasa ke semasa.

Makluman di media sosial

Pihak kerajaan turut menggunakan platform media sosial serta aplikasi mudah alih bagi mengawasi pergerakan di kawasan yang dikategorikan mengikut warna iaitu hijau, kuning dan merah.

Proses nyahkuman yang kerap

Setiap jalan dan bangunan turut dibersihkan dengan penyemburan cecair pembasmi kuman yang dilakukan dengan kekerapan yang maksimum.

Penggunaan cahaya UV

Firma pengangkutan awam Yanggao mengubah kebuk pembersihan bas henti-hentinya kepada kebuk cahaya UV untuk tujuan nyahkuman pada rangkaian basnya.

Proses yang sebelum ini mengambil masa 40 minit ditambah baik hingga hanya memerlukan tempoh 5 minit bagi setiap bas.

Topeng muka diwajibkan

Semua rakyat turut diwajibkan memakai topeng muka jika menaiki teksi atau ke pasar raya untuk mendapatkan bekalan makanan dengan kerja-kerja bacaan suhu turut menjadi kewajipan semasa memasuki sesebuah bangunan.

Pergerakan dipantau

Selain itu, seluruh kejiranan turut dikawal oleh penguat kuasa yang melakukan rondaan serta pemeriksaan keluar masuk terhadap pelawat yang berkunjung ke sesebuah kawasan perumahan.

Penguatkuasaan ketat

China juga turut memperketat sistem pengkuatkuasaan tentera dan polisnya dengan menahan serta mengurung individu yang melanggar kesalahan di kala penularan wabak tersebut.

Pesanan khidmat masyarakat

Bagi langkah pencegahan, pesanan khidmat masyarakat juga sering disebar luas kepada orang awam dengan mengalakkan mereka mencuci tangan dengan lebih kerap dan mengurangkan perjalanan agar tidak membebankan penguat kuasa kesihatan.


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) menasihati penganut yang menghadiri sambutan keagamaan Masi Magam di Teluk Bahang, Pulau Pinang pada Jumaat lalu untuk menjalani pemeriksaan kesihatan bagi mencegah penularan wabak COVID-19.

Presidennya, Datuk RS Mohan Shan berkata, meskipun setakat ini belum ada penganut yang menghadiri upacara itu disahkan positif wabak itu, namun mereka dinasihati untuk berbuat demikian sebagai langkah pencegahan awal.

“Sesungguhnya tindakan itu bukan untuk mencetuskan panik, namun adalah baik untuk melakukan pemeriksaan secara sukarela terutamanya mereka yang mempunyai gejala-gejala jangkitan wabak tersebut,” katanya ketika dihubungi Astro AWANI.

Jumaat lalu, kira-kira 30,000 penganut India dilaporkan menghadiri perarakan tahunan membawa patung Dewi Sri Singamuga Kaliamman ke laut.

Penganut Hindu yang menyertai upacara itu kemudian akan melepaskan lampu pelita berwarna-warni ke laut sebagai pelengkap acara ritual tahunan itu.

Menurut kepercayaan agama Hindu, Maasi bermaksud bulan mengikut kalendar Tamil manakala Magam pula adalah salah satu bintang daripada 27 bintang dalam sistem astrologi Hindu.

Perayaan yang diadakan untuk mendapat restu daripada Dewi yang dipercayai menjaga kawasan laut itu selalunya jatuh di antara bulan Febuari dan Mac.

Mengulas lanjut, Mohan Shan berkata, sebagai langkah segera, MHS telah mengeluarkan notis pemberitahuan kepada kira-kira 2,000 kuil berdaftar di seluruh Malaysia supaya menghindari daripada mengadakan sebarang sambutan keagamaan secara besar-besaran, buat masa ini sehingga notis sususlan.

Pun begitu katanya, upacara sembahyang yang diadakan di kuil pada setiap hari masih boleh diteruskan.

“Cuma saya sarankan supaya pengurusan kuil dapat menyediakan cecair pembasmi kuman dan memeriksa suhu badan di pintu masuk.

“Perkara ini bukan untuk menyusahkan mana-mana pihak sebaliknya adalah untuk kesejahteraan semua orang,” jelasnya.


Malaysia’s medical specialists are strongly urging the government to consider the implementation of a nationwide lockdown after the country saw a sudden spike of 190 Co-vid19 cases yesterday (15th February), bringing the tally to a worrying 428.

This rapid rise that is said to be linked to a mass religious gathering of over 14,500 at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling has made Malaysia the worst-hit Southeast Asian country to date and six of our medical specialists (Dr Teoh Boon Wei, Dr Asha Prerna, Dr Devindran Manoharan, Dr Sivaneswaran Annandan, Dr Kumar Neeraj, and Dr Komella Prakasam) are calling on the government with urgency to put the entire nation under a lockdown now before things start spiraling out of control.

“My medical colleagues and I have been engrossed with the development of the Covid-19 pandemic… I am sure you are assisted by eminent members of the medical fraternity, including ID (infectious disease) physicians, intensivists, virologists and epidemiologists. But, I wonder if the authorities have considered a lockdown?,” said one of the experienced doctors in the joint statement.

According to the advice of the medical practitioners, not only would a lockdown allow carriers of the deadly virus to be easily isolated and identified, it would also minimize the disease’s rapid spreading.

This could be the only way since it seems as though citizens are still taking the virus too lightly: “the advice for social distancing has obviously fallen on deaf ears, as I see people going about their daily lives as if there is no threat at all.”

“I do consider the implication of such measures, but we do not want to be too late, like other countries, which are fighting a losing battle now. Every day matters,” said the statement, addressed to current Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“If a lockdown is imposed, the many carriers in the community now will surface when they develop symptoms, while at the same time, they do not infect others. I understand the impact on social order and the economy (this would entail) but if it blows out, we will be dealing with a worse outcome”.

We cannot wait any longer before things get worse than they already are. The government needs to take action now before our entire nation suffers.


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.