Tag Archive : Coronavirus

/ Coronavirus

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.

AsiaOne

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.

-astroawani

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.

-astroawani

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.

-worldofbuzz

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.

-straitstimes

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).

Brother: *comes back from Germany* Everyone: welcome back! Mum:

Posted by Qi En on Ahad, 8 Mac 2020

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.

Part 2 and 3 y’all, my mum didn’t stop there.

Posted by Qi En on Isnin, 9 Mac 2020

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).

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook
“Thank God, I wasn’t the only one who received this treatment.”
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook
“You’re spraying [disinfectant] even when you’re in the car.” 
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

AsiaOne

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! 

-worldofbuzz

Malaysia has recorded another 12 Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 129 in the country, reported The Star.

The 12 new cases were close contacts of Case 33, according to newly-appointed Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said.

“We were able to track these cases through our contact tracing process,” he said on Tuesday (10th March).

He also added that case 87 has recovered from the illness, making the patient the 25th one in the country to recover and be discharged, reported Malaysia Kini.

He said this when he was at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to monitor the screening process of passengers for Covid-19 at the terminal.

“There are a total of 150 ministry officials on duty around-the-clock at the terminal to conduct the screening process,” he said. 

“We do not just have officials here. There are people on duty at other international airports as well as at the country’s land and sea entry points.”

Dr Adham advised Malaysians to take their own precautionary measures by practising “social distancing” – avoiding crowded areas and events and refraining from physical contact.

He even demonstrated how to greet someone without shaking hands by placing his palm on the chest.

Malaysia is the second-worst country in Southeast Asia in regards to Covid-19 cases.

-worldofbuzz

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!

-worldofbuzz

Someone who claimed to be a scientist recently tweeted that hand sanitisers are useless against the coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 1, California-based Twitter user @jasminjoestar posited that “sanitiser will do nothing for the coronavirus”. This is based on her logic that sanitisers are essentially anti-bacterial and hence will not combat Covid-19, which is a virus. She even signed off as “a scientist that is tired of this s**t.” 

PHOTO: Twitter screengrab

This could not be further from the truth. 

The facts that you should be hearing is this: hand sanitisers remain great as hygienic alternatives when you don’t have access to soap and water. 

The best bet for hand hygiene — according to the World Health Organisation, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases — is still washing your hands frequently and thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water. 

This would prevent the infection of human coronaviruses, which are commonly spread through close personal contact and touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes after touching a surface with the virus on it. 

The next best thing if there aren’t any washrooms around (though honestly, they’re pretty easy to find in Singapore) would be hand sanitisers with at least 60 per cent alcohol content. Sure, they won’t be effective against all viruses, but several studies have indicated that alcohol-based sanitisers are effective against enveloped viruses, including human coronaviruses. 

So yes, Covid-19 can be killed by hand sanitisers. Soap and water are still the best, of course. 

Unfortunately, @jasminjoestar’s tweet has already been replicated across Twitter, which garnered hundreds of thousands of retweets and likes before it was deleted. 

The Twitter user has since issued a clarification today (March 4) about her inaccurate post, though she has yet to shed light on which branch of science she’s in. 

Still, it’s no excuse for Singaporeans to start hoarding hand sanitisers because again, it’s not that hard to find spots in public where you can wash your hands with soap. But if you’re really desperate for hand sanitisers for some reason, there’s a way to make your own batch.

AsiaOne

//ofgogoatan.com/afu.php?zoneid=2458908