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The Parliament sitting today, 2 November, has been cut short after several Dewan Negara staff members tested positive for COVID-19

In light of that, de facto Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the sitting will be adjourned at 1pm today and set to resume at 10am tomorrow, 3 November, reported New Straits Times.

Takiyuddin said the decision was made following a meeting among Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, party whips, and representatives from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 12(1) was invoked to make adjournment possible, which stipulates, “A Minister may without notice move at any time a motion to be decided without amendment or debate to vary the time of sitting of the House.”

Takiyuddin added the group decided that the Lower House of the Parliament is required to adapt new norms during the sitting

He assured that the new rules will not infringe on the rights of Members of Parliament (MPs) to ask questions, debate, and vote.

“[The] Parliament personnel will prepare administrative procedures that would include taking attendance (of MPs) as well as entry-and-exit registry,” the Kota Bahru MP told the Dewan Rakyat.

“Party leaders will be given instructions from time to time.”

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said new standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be made known to fellow MPs and staff members soon.

In a tweet, Ismail said the SOPs that are in place for now include mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for MPs from Sabah before being present in Parliament, and only the MP and two officers are allowed at the sitting.

According to another report by New Straits Times, other SOPs include taking the temperature of every attendee at the entrance to the Parliament building and mandatory COVID-19 testing three days before attending Parliament.

Staff members and MPs are also required to put on a face mask and observe physical distancing of at least 1m at all times.

SAYS

A Kajang Line Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) operation staff has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now quarantined at Sungai Buloh Hospital

The staff, who is a train operator or ‘transit officer’, was last on duty on 21 October 2020.

According to a statement earlier today, 25 October, RapidKL said that they carried out disinfection and cleaning work for the Kajang Line MRT last night, 24 October.

“Other staff who had been in close contact with the infected staff have been asked to undergo screening and self-quarantine for 14 days as stipulated by the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) standard operating procedures (SOP),” read the statement.

RapidKL has since alerted all relevant authorities

“All relevant agencies including the National Security Council (NSC), the Ministry of Transport, and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) have been informed of the steps that have been taken,” it said.

RapidKL assured that the Kajang Line MRT and other public transport services operated by Prasarana, such as LRT, monorail, and Rapid Transit Bus are safe to use.

“However, users are reminded to follow the prescribed SOP namely the use of face masks, hand sanitiser or disinfectant liquid, take body temperature, and register with the MySejahtera application or the logbook before entering the train,” it added.

SAYS


A staff member of OLDTOWN White Coffee’s branch in 1 Utama Shopping Centre has tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, 18 October

In a Facebook statement, the staff member has not worked or entered the mall since 11 October and is currently being treated in a government hospital.

Precautionary measures have been taken immediately since the announcement

The outlet will be closed indefinitely for sanitisation and all staff members of the branch were ordered to self-isolate following standard operating procedures (SOPs). They will be tested a second time by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on a later date.

Contact tracing has also been conducted. People in close contact with the staff members were identified and told to stay at home following MOH guidelines.

1 Utama responded in a comment that the employee tested negative during their private mass swab test that took place on 11 and 12 October

Image from 1 Utama Shopping Centre (Facebook)

SAYS

Telekom Malaysia (TM) has announced that it will be taking additional steps to curb the spread of Covid-19 after 10 more employees were tested positive for Covid-19. The new positive cases were reported at Menara TM and TM Annexe 1 in Kuala Lumpur as well as a network node in Rawang. This is in addition to the earlier cases reported on Sunday which brings the total number of positive cases to 13.

The broadband and telecommunications infrastructure provider has updated that three of its employees have been discharged and are continuing their recovery and home-quarantine for 14 days. The remaining 10 are still receiving treatment.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from TM’s Covid-19 Crisis Response Team (CRT) are carrying out detailed contact tracing to identify and inform close contacts of the affected employees. MoH will contact identified close contacts for further advice and action.

After the new cases were discovered, TM had taken immediate steps to close affected premises for seven days for disinfection and sanitisation according to the MoH’s guidelines. Sanitisation works have been completed at Menara TM One, TM Annexe 1 and the network node in Rawang. The sanitisation works at Menara TM is still ongoing and are expected to be completed today by 5.00pm. All TM offices in red zones including Sabah and Kedah have been closed much earlier due to the increase in the number of new cases.

TM has also activated its Work From Home (WFM) arrangements for all TM employees nationwide with immediate effect until October 31, 2020. The WFH arrangements have been implemented earlier since Monday for TM employees based in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya before the new CMCO was enforced in the Klang Valley.

TM Group CEO Imri Mokhtar said that the sudden rise in cases among Warga TM family is a worrying concern and they have taken immediate action and activated safety protocols for buildings and areas affected. He also shared that over 4,700 critical function employees at TMpoints, contact centres, field teams for service installation and restoration continue to lead the front line as their roles are even more important with more Malaysians are now back to working from home.

TM is also providing free Covid-19 swab tests for employees who may have been exposed to the virus. Identified employees are told to undergo Covid-19 test from today through a temporary drive-through facility set up at Menara TM.

malaymail

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 13 — The three individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 at Seberang Perai Prison in Jawi, are newcomers transferred to the prison after being sentenced for their crimes two weeks ago.

Penang Prisons Department director Roslan Mohamed said the three men have been isolated from other inmates who have been there long right from the start.

“It is a prison procedure to isolate all new prisoners, so the three who tested positive have been placed in a different block, they were earlier placed in the Penang Remand Prison.

“So far we still do not know from where the three got the infection. Covid-19 screening tests have been conducted by the Health Ministry staff two days ago after there was an increase in cases at the Penang Remand Prison so we are taking precautions,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

He said all the new inmates who had shared the same cell with the three men who tested positive have been quarantined and Covid19 screening tests conducted on them.

Roslan said the prison staff who had close contact with the three prisoners had also been isolated and quarantined and underwent Covid-19 screening tests today.

“So far, there is no need to conduct a Covid-19 screening test for all the long-term prisoners, we are monitoring from time to time,” he said.

Today, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah informed that there was a new cluster, namely the Jawi Prison Cluster after three inmates tested positive for Covid-19.

Since October 5, the Penang Remand Prison Cluster has recorded 160 positive cases involving only prisoners, including one death. 

-malaymail

Yesterday, 5 October, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Kampung Tunku, Lim Yi Wei confirmed that she has tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement on Twitter, she apologised over the inconvenience she has caused towards MOH staffs, her colleagues, family and friends.

When she returned from Sabah on 27 September, she did her first swab test at KLIA2 and was home quarantined. On 30 September, she called the Petaling Health Department (PKD) and found out that her results were negative. She was asked to go the next day to remove her bracelet but this is when she started experiencing some Covid-19 symptoms.

“Upon PKD’s advice, I took a second swab test on 2 October and continued self-quarantine until I received the news on 5th October confirming that I tested positive.”

She added that her team has also been self-quarantined since Day One and have already been swab-tested. They will also be going for their second swab test. The politician also urged anyone who came in contact with her in the last 14 days to get themselves tested.

In her statement, she also disproved the news that she took out her pink wristband after she tested negative following her first swab test at KLIA. Since she wasn’t feeling very well, PKD advised her to continue wearing the wristband.

W.O.B


A journalist from New Straits Times Press (NSTP) has tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning from covering the state elections in Sabah

Taking to his personal Facebook account, Azrul Affandi shared that he is still in disbelief that he has become a victim after reporting about the coronavirus at length.

“Ever since the Movement Control Order (MCO) started on 18 March, I have not stopped doing live stories about COVID-19, until I have been called ‘Covid Teacher’. But today, I tested positive,” he wrote on Monday, 5 October.

The 42-year-old was assigned to carry out editorial duties surrounding the elections in Sabah from 10 September to 30 September

According to an interview he did with The Star, upon arriving back in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) last Wednesday, 30 September, he did the mandatory COVID-19 swab test like all other returnees.

The concerned father also asked his wife and children to stay with his in-laws while he underwent quarantine at their home in Kajang.

“I did not want to take any risk. I stayed home alone in the house after returning from Sabah,” he told the English daily.

Documenting the rest of his experiences on Facebook, he shared that he started to develop symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, joint pain, and fatigue over the next few days.

He was finally admitted to Sungai Buloh Hospital for isolation and further testing on Sunday night, 4 October.

Media Prima has since announced that an NSTP employee who recently returned from Sabah has tested positive for COVID-19

Although they did not name the affected employee, the media group assured that “the affected person had been undergoing self-quarantine and had not visited any Media Prima premises since returning from Sabah”.

“Media Prima will provide necessary support to the affected person. We pray for a speedy recovery,” they said in a statement, according to New Straits Times.

The group also assured that all of its other employees who returned from covering the Sabah state election have undergone the mandatory COVID-19 screening and are still observing the 14-day self-quarantine at home.

“Media Prima would like to state that the safety of all employees is its top priority,” they said, adding that they are working closely with health authorities to minimise exposure of the virus to all employees.

SAYS



At least a dozen people linked to events attended by President Donald Trump over the past week have tested positive for COVID-19.

Among the events that appear to be linked to the spread of the virus are the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination the Supreme Court on Sept. 26 in the White House Rose Garden and Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland.

Trump announced his positive COVID-19 about 1 a.m. Friday.

His physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a Saturday morning briefing that it had been 72 hours since his diagnosis, which would put it at midday Wednesday. Conley later walked back the timeline he presented during the news conference and confirmed Trump was diagnosed Thursday evening.

Since Wednesday, Trump has attended events in multiple states, potentially exposing dozens of people to the coronavirus. Since there’s also an incubation period during which a person shows no symptoms after first contracting COVID-19, it’s unclear where the president picked up the virus.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., each tested positive after sitting near each other at the Barrett announcement. They serve on the Senate judiciary committee, which is expected to hold hearings on her nomination Oct. 12.

Many guests at the event did not practice social distancing and few wore masks.

Lee and Tillis were among at least seven people attending the event who have since tested positive, including Trump, first lady Melania Trump, University of Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and a reporter.

Barrett tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, though she and her husband, Jesse, had recovered from the virus over the summer.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the senators’ diagnoses raised the prospect that several other senators have been an exposed, which could make it difficult to hold in-person hearings for Barrett. Hearings for her confirmation are expected to begin in less than two weeks, less time than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people with or exposed to COVID-19 quarantine.

Sen. Ron Johnson. R-Wis., also announced Saturday that he tested positive for the coronavirus after being exposed earlier this week, though it’s unclear where he contracted it, according to his office.

Johnson’s not on the judiciary committee, but depending on when the Senate holds a full vote on Barrett’s confirmation, his illness could impact his ability to be physically present for that.

McConnell on Saturday said all Senate floor proceedings would be postponed until Oct. 19, but that Barrett’s confirmation hearings would take place Oct. 12 as planned.

“Since May, the judiciary committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually,” he said in a statement.

“The committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of this committee will participate in these important hearings.”

McConnell later tweeted that he finished speaking with the president, who was “in good spirits,” and that he planned to move “full steam ahead,” with the confirmation hearings.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have called for Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham R-S.C., to delay the confirmation hearings, saying that health must take priority.

“There is bipartisan agreement that virtual confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench is not an acceptable substitute,” the two senators said. “It’s critical that Chairman Graham put the health of senators, the nominee and staff first — and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated and not virtual.”

News of the first COVID-19 case linked to the White House came Thursday evening when senior adviser Hope Hicks was confirmed to have the virus. Trump said he and the first lady underwent testing in reaction to Hicks’ diagnosis and learned of their diagnosis late Thursday or early Friday.

He participated in a roundtable discussion with supporters as well as a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Thursday evening.

All of his events were canceled Friday after his diagnosis became public.

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also tested COVID-19 positive early Saturday. They, along with Conway, helped Trump prepare for his Tuesday debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Christie posted on Twitter he checked into a hospital in New Jersey as a precaution.

“In consultation with my doctors, I checked myself into Morristown Medical Center this afternoon. While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure.

Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, have since tested negative, and on Saturday evening Biden’s campaign said it will the results of every coronavirus test the candidate takes.

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence also tested negative, as has Trump’s son, 14-year-old Barron Trump.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was diagnosed with the virus Wednesday and has been experiencing mild symptoms. She was last with the president on Sept. 25, a representative said.

Three White House reporters tested COVID-19 positive Friday, according to a series of memos from the White House Correspondents Association and other White House reporters are “self-isolating pending diagnostic testing.”

Trump was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Maryland on Friday evening.

-upi

A staff member from a commercial centre in Petaling Jaya known as, 3 Two Square, recently tested positive for Covid-19.

Yesterday morning (29 September), the office management issued a notice to inform the public of the case which reportedly came from a staff member in Unit 1-50-05 who recorded a history of travelling, as said by Sin Chew Daily.

The management immediately consulted the National Security Council, also known as MKN, and as per guidance, they have carried out “thorough sanitisation and disinfection exercises in common areas in Block A”.

They assured the public that “PP3TS Management continues to take proactive and preventive measures to maintain high levels of cleanliness and hygiene throughout the Complex, to provide the safest possible environment for everyone.”

They also advised the public to do their part in helping to combat the spread of the virus by keeping a safe physical distance, wearing a mask, and frequent hand sanitising when necessary.

-worldofbuzz

Photos of an eerily empty KL Sentral have been making their rounds on social media recently

On Monday, 28 September, Twitter user @KhabirM uploaded several pictures of the usually bustling transport hub.

He wrote, “Quite dead for lunch hour. Guess the fear is real.”

The tweet has since garnered over 3,100 retweets and 4,100 likes.

Photos taken at different parts of KL Sentral and NU Sentral show a total absence of a crowd

In another tweet, @KhabirM – who works in the area – wrote, “1.30pm and the usual lunch hour madness is missing.”

Image from @KhabirM (Twitter)

Other netizens agreed that it is pretty unusual to see the place so deserted

One person said, “It’s empty. Usually, during the afternoon, it gets so crowded like it could start a fight.”

“This is true though. Very different from last week. My journey to work just now was so different,” wrote another netizen.

One user even likened the situation to back when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced. She wrote, “This is back during early MCO, it’s the same. Can sense like it’s going to be MCO all over again.”

Over the weekend, a staff member at NU Sentral tested positive for COVID-19

The shopping mall management issued a statement regarding the matter, saying that that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has immediately conducted contact tracing and all close contacts have undergone COVID-19 testing.

The patient who tested positive, as well as those who were in close contact with him, are now undergoing quarantine.

SAYS

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