Covid-19: Johor mulls lowering theme park entertainment tax for foreign tourists

24th February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Johor will study if there is a need to lower entertainment tax rates on foreign tourists at theme parks following the spread of the Covid-19 infection. — AFP pic
ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 23 — Johor will study if there is a need to lower entertainment tax rates on foreign tourists at theme parks following the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
State Tourism and Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung, however, said every decision and approach on the matter would be taken after the economic stimulus package to reduce external economic impact following the Covid-19 outbreak, to be announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on February 27.
“I have received feedback from them (theme park industry players) on the entertainment tax that will be imposed on foreign tourists.
“I have also raised this issue at the state executive council meeting and we will examine the decline in the number of tourists (after that) then we will make a decision,” he told a pre..

All 100 Malaysian crew members on World Dream cruise ship test negative for Covid-19, says Health D-G

24th February 2020 Wolfgang Holzem 0

Director General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said all 100 Malaysian crew members of the World Dream cruise ship anchored under quarantine status in Johor have tested negative for Covid-19. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — All 100 Malaysian crew members of the World Dream cruise ship anchored under quarantine status in Tanjung Pengelih, Johor have tested negative for Covid-19, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
He said the Malaysian crew members underwent screenings on February 22 before they were brought to the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) Southern Regional Campus (IKWAS) in Kluang, Johor for sampling and observation.
“Following medical examinations done on them, all 100 crew members were found to be without symptoms and results of their Covid-19 tests all came back negative.
“They have been allowed to go home and will go through a 14-day monitoring process from the day they entered Malaysia,” he said in a st..

Covid-19: Higher death rate among men claim not fully proven, says deputy health minister

23rd February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks to reporters at the Bijih Timah Health Clinic in Ipoh January 17, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib
IPOH, Feb 22 — A study claiming that men seemed to have a weaker immune response to COVID-19 infection has yet to be fully proven, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said.
He said the Health Ministry (MOH) will not be quick to make conclusions before further detailed studies are done on the claim.
“We are all studying the virus through a ‘characteristic’ approach, although scientists do have their own theories, but we need more time for detailed studies before we can confirm anything.
“Yes, statistically speaking, more men are dying from the disease but whether this means they are more susceptible we do not know for sure yet,” he told reporters at a Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Perak-based Small-and-Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Dr Lee was commenting on foreign reports that the death rate among men, at 2.8 per cent, was hi..

Health Ministry explains American Covid-19 patient recovering after treatment, after US, Cambodia insist she wasn’t infected at all

23rd February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 83-year-old woman has shown positive development, but is still under monitoring in Sungai Buloh Hospital as she is still exhibiting minor cough. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 ― The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced today that the 22nd Covid-19 patient in Malaysia, an American lady from the Westerdam cruise ship, is recovering after 72 hours of treatment.
In a statement, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 83-year-old woman has shown positive development, but is still under monitoring in Sungai Buloh Hospital as she is still exhibiting minor cough.
“She had shown improvements after 72 hours of treatment initiation. Therefore, the repeated Covid-19 tests were done, two tests, 24 hours apart.
“Both the repeated tests were found to be negative for Covid-19,” he said.
This explanation came after the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) was quoted telling USA Today yest..

Covid-19: Malaysia, Singapore to intensify cooperation at Johor Causeway

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he had an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan pertaining to the Johor Causeway which recorded 250,000 movements daily. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
VIENTIANE, Feb 20 ― Malaysia and Singapore will intensify cooperation at the busy Johor Causeway in an effort to address the spread of Covid-19 infection.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he had an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan pertaining to the Johor Causeway which recorded 250,000 movements daily.
“I hope that officials in both countries will communicate and intensify their cooperation in handling the Covid-19 transmission at the causeway.
“If we don’t do it (cooperation) properly, it (Covid-19 infection) will spread. Therefore, we need to monitor the causeway together,” he told Bernama after attending the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Asean and China in dealing with Covid-19 outbreak here today.
Th..

Mahfuz: Workers affected by Covid-19 urged to lodge complaints

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar urged employees affected by Covid-19 to lodge complaints with the relevant parties so that action can be taken to assist them. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
KUANTAN, Feb 20 — Employees affected by Covid-19 have been urged to lodge complaints with the relevant parties so that action can be taken to assist them, said Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
He said the assistance was not limited to those involved in the tourism sector but also to workers from other sectors affected by this new virus.
“It is important that those affected lodge complaints with the Labour Department or the Industrial Relations Department if it relates to breach of contract and so on, or they will be laid off as a result of Covid-19,” he told reporters after attending a town hall session with his ministry here today.
Mahfuz also hoped that if there was a need for employers to lay off workers because of Covid-19, they were encouraged to terminate forei..

Foreign minister: Second batch of Malaysians to return from Wuhan on Tuesday

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said there were about 77,000 Malaysians in China but did not announce the number of Malaysians who would be brought back home through the second group. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
VIENTIANE, Feb 20 ― Malaysia will bring home a second group of its citizens from Wuhan, China next Tuesday (February 25) following the Covid-19 outbreak in that country.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said there were about 77,000 Malaysians in China but did not announce the number of Malaysians who would be brought back home through the second group.
“We would like to thank (the Chinese government) for the assistance provided to bring the Malaysians back from Wuhan.
“Another trip (to bring home Malaysians) will be on February 25,” he told Bernama after attending a Special Asean-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) here today.
On February 4, 107 Malaysians were flown home from Wuhan, China via a special aircraft through a h..

No sign of Covid-19 on Genting Dream liner so far, says health minister

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad says ongoing tests for Covid-19 on the passengers and crew of the MV Genting Dream cruise ship anchored in Port Klang were all negative so far. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Ongoing tests for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on the passengers and crew of the MV Genting Dream cruise ship anchored in Port Klang were all negative so far, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.
He said as of 3pm today, 350 of the the 957 passengers and 230 of the 1,701 crew members have been screened and cleared.
“So far they have been found asymptomatic, with screening and testing expected to continue until later tonight,” Dzulkefly said after officiating a mental wellness programme at the Dewan Tunku Canselor in Universiti Malaya.
Separately, Dzulkefly was asked if there is sufficient stock of influenza vaccine in the country, which he said is under the purview of the private medical sector.
“They are the ones responsible for impo..

Health Ministry says only five Covid-19 patients still in Malaysian hospitals

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad says Malaysia has only five people in its hospitals who are being treated for the Covid-19 out of a total of 22 cases.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 ― Malaysia has only five people in its hospitals who are being treated for the Covid-19 out of a total of 22 cases, the Health Ministry announced today.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said two patients classified as case number 20, a 27-year-old male, and case number 21, a 32-year-old female, both Chinese nationals and who were both confirmed infected with the coronavirus on February 14, were the latest to be discharged today.
“The total cumulative confirmed Covid-19 cases in Malaysia remains at 22 cases, with five cases still receiving treatment in hospitals,” Dzulkefly said in a statement.
He added that the five who are still warded are in a stable condition.
Three are being treated in Kuala Lumpur Hospital; one in Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Kedah; and one in Sungai Buloh Hospital, Selangor.
Al..

One out of four Malaysians aboard Diamond Princess cruise cleared of Covid-19

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Japanese health authorities have allowed the woman to return to Malaysia upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 ―A 61-year old Malaysian woman who is a passenger aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama Bay in Japan has been found negative for the Covid-19 virus, the Health Ministry announced today.
Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Japanese health authorities have allowed the woman to return to Malaysia upon completion of the 14-day quarantine period.
She is the first out of four Malaysians on board the ship to have been cleared of the virus after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Two of the Malaysians, a husband (71 year-old) and wife (66 year- old) were confirmed positive with Covid-19 on 16 February 2020. They are currently receiving treatment at Fujita Hospital in Nagoya and in stable condition,” Dzulkefly said in a statement.
The other Mal..

Should Malaysia ban Chinese nationals amid Covid-19 scare? DPM’s call, says health minister

21st February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks during the launch of the mental wellness programme at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur February 20, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — The Cabinet discussed the possibility of imposing a temporary ban on all citizens from China from entering Malaysia as the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to spread, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad confirmed today.
However, he said any decision would be announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the chairman of the National Disaster Management Agency.
“We always consider and make assessments based on facts
“She will announce it if and when it is necessary,” Dzulkefly told reporters after officiating a mental wellness programme at Universiti Malaya here.
He said the Cabinet meeting yesterday discussed all possibilities, including barring Chinese nationals from entering Malaysia for at least a month.
Several countries have taken steps to limit..

Covid-19 could see up to 100,000 Malaysians lose jobs? That’s just an estimation, says deputy minister

20th February 2020 Irwan Shah 0

Datuk Mahfuz Omar speaks to the reporters at Parliament December 6, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — The figure of nearly 100,000 Malaysians to lose jobs if the Covid-19 threat persists until end of the year is just an estimation, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
He said the ministry was still gathering information is still in the midst of studying the effect of the Covid-19 situation on employment in certain sectors.
“We will know the actual number after the trade unions provide the full information through the Department of Labour (JTK) and based on the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System (SIP),” he told reporters during the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) Chinese New Year celebration and Clients’ Day here today.
Several newspapers today reported Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan as saying that up to 100,000 Malaysians could lose their jobs this year if ..