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  1. With the situation escalating by the day and the other thread moving 2Fast2Furious, we have decided to start this thread to share / highlight critical information relating to the virus outbreak and important health tip for easy reference by all MCF readers. We urge all to post only official information and useful tips from reputable sources to maintain the "tidiness" of this thread. Any post we deem unfit for this thread will be deleted or shifted to the other thread. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. @pChou @BabyBlade @kobayashiGT Please feel free to add other criteria to this thread and we shall regulate it from time to time. As a rule of thumb, NO tcss here... Some useful websites for official information: Ministry of Health - Updates on Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Local Situation World Health Organization - Novel Coronavirus 2019 The Straits Times - Wuhan Virus Outbreak Channel News Asia - Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Singapore Government - Wuhan Coronavirus Updates Singapore Government - WhatsApp Push Notification Some useful tips for protect yourself and others from getting sick. More will be added in due course.
  2. Msia 18th to 30th march -total ban on public movement and mass activities -all businesses and places of worship closed except for shops and supermarkets -total ban for all overseas travel -self quarantine 14 days for those returning to Malaysia -total ban of foreign visitors -closure of all kindergarten, schools, colleges -closure of all except essential services water, transport, oil & gas, electricity, health, emergency services
  3. As per topic title, how many of u are rescheduling or canceling holiday plans due to the virus or still proceeding? Just receive email from Scoot about rescheduling air tix. What are the airlines that are offering rebooking at no charges?
  4. So I just read these two articles consecutively. Very reassuring lol. One wrong move, and there goes the whole of China all over again. ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/despite-official-figures-wuhan-continues-to-find-new-asymptomatic-coronavirus-cases?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2zuDoEfkCBbQWkN5vNLkOy_G0SmzFAiEaWILxFA7G44OexYRFN2uE_a38#Echobox=1585025147 CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-coovid19-coronavirus-lift-travel-curbs-hubei-wuhan-12570658?cid=FBcna Here's the two articles: ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - Despite official figures reporting few to no new domestic Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland in recent days, authorities continue to detect more infections, with those in the city at the heart of the country's outbreak often amounting to more than a dozen a day, Caixin has learned. According to a member of the infectious disease prevention and control team in Wuhan, every day the city continues to record "several or more than a dozen asymptomatic infected individuals", which are people that have tested positive for Covid-19, but do not feel ill and are excluded from published numbers. As of Sunday (March 22), Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, had four consecutive days of zero new "confirmed cases." The person, who asked not to be named, said that these asymptomatic people are found by tracing the contacts of others who are infected and by screening quarantine workers who are at high risk of infection, as opposed to en masse testing. "It's not possible at the moment to tell if transmission has stopped," the person said. As reported new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 have dwindled, China has moved to send home the teams of medical personnel it brought in from across the country to assist hospital workers in Hubei. Between March 17 and 20, some 12,000 medical personnel departed the province. But the infectious disease prevention and control team has stayed behind, after Hubei's provincial Covid-19 task force on Friday ordered it to remain until central authorities say otherwise, Caixin has learned. According to a person at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, this team of specialists was kept in Hubei because the central government continues to feel unease about the situation in the area, in part because of the presence of asymptomatic individuals. Since February, the Covid-19 prevention and control policies issued by the National Health Commission (NHC) have stipulated that asymptomatic infected individuals are not considered "confirmed cases" and that their numbers should not be released. However, given numerous studies suggesting that this group is infectious, the NHC has required that, once detected, they be subject to a 14-day quarantine and lab testing, recategorising them as "confirmed" cases only in the event they develop symptoms. Caixin previously obtained data that showed Northeast China's Heilongjiang province had 480 "confirmed cases" on Feb 25, but had also discovered 104 asymptomatic infected individuals that it left off the public tally. A March 6 preprint - a study that has not yet been peer-reviewed - by Chinese and American researchers suggested that asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms could account for at least 59 per cent of Covid-19 infections, potentially undetected and fuelling its spread. Considering Wuhan is the epicentre of China's epidemic, "there's still a lot that needs to be investigated and traced", the infectious disease prevention and control team member said. CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan BEIJING: China's central Hubei province, where the deadly coronavirus first emerged late last year, is to lift travel curbs after two months under lockdown, local officials said on Tuesday (Mar 24). Healthy residents will be allowed to leave the province from midnight Tuesday. Travel restrictions for leaving Wuhan will be lifted on Apr 8, and people will be able to leave on the basis of using a health code The announcement as China reported 78 new cases of the deadly coronavirus on Tuesday, with the vast majority brought in from overseas as fears rise of a second wave of infections. The first new case in nearly a week was also reported in Wuhan - the epicentre where the virus emerged last year - along with three other local infections elsewhere in the country. Seven more people died, the National Health Commission said, all in Wuhan. There have now been more than 81,000 cases in China, and the death toll has reached 3,277. As the country tries to control imported cases, there are signs of normality beginning to return to Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. Travel and work restrictions in the province have been gradually eased and Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first visit to Wuhan earlier this month. Wuhan residents considered healthy can now move around the city and take public transport if they show identification, and they can also go back to work if they have a permit from their employer.
  5. Gold tops US$1,600 as virus fuels growth fears source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/gold-tops-us1600-as-virus-fuels-growth-fears [SINGAPORE] Gold traded near the highest level since 2013 on concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus and how it's impacting global growth. Palladium topped US$2,700 an ounce as it continued its record-breaking rally. Bullion steadied after surging 1.3 per cent Tuesday's as Apple Inc's warning that the virus and efforts to contain it would have its sales missing forecasts spurred a sell off in stocks. China's death toll from the disease topped 2,000, while the province at the centre of the outbreak reported fewer additional cases. The flight to safety has benefited haven assets, with the rally spilling over to the palladium market, where a multi-year deficit is expected to widen in 2020. Gold is up 5.6 per cent this year as investors assess the impact of the disease on economic growth and appetite for risk amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will feel increased pressure to reduce interest rates. The US central bank has said the effects of the virus have presented a "new risk" to the outlook and traders will study minutes from the Fed's latest meeting, due later on Wednesday, for any hint of a dovish tone. Spot gold was little changed at US$1,601.88 an ounce at 11.46am in Singapore. Prices had touched US$1,611.42 in early January, the highest since 2013, as geopolitical tensions flared. The unfolding health emergency has seen holdings in global exchange-traded funds backed by bullion expand to a record. Palladium climbed 3 per cent to US$2,709.10 an ounce, an all-time high. "A deficit equivalent to about 20 per cent of the palladium market is expected to be sustained this year, helping explain the surge in prices," said Vivek Dhar, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Demand is being driven by environmental regulations, particularly in China, which has increased palladium use in vehicles and should offset any recent weakness in car sales, he said.
  6. Coronavirus cleanliness could be damaging your steering wheel Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be very hard on leather. 2020 isn’t an easy year for anyone. COVID-19 has changed virtually every aspect of life for people around the world. As we try to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, keeping our hands clean has become a key activity we engage in daily. But the hand sanitisers we use could also have a detrimental effect on the trim in the vehicles we love, specifically with regards to steering wheels. That point is explained in this video from Craft Customs, a Texas company that specialises in custom steering wheels and other interior components. Many factory-original steering wheels are wrapped in leather, and while they generally feature automotive grade leather with a special top coat for protection, alcohol and petroleum-based products can break down that protective coat very quickly. Pretty much every kind of hand sanitiser is based on alcohol, and with hand sanitizer being used feverishly these days, well, you get the idea. The video includes a short demonstration of how alcohol and petroleum-based products can affect leather. A piece of automotive-grade leather is hit with hand sanitiser, rubbing alcohol, and since the vast majority of motorists still have cars with internal combustion engines, petrol is also thrown into the mix. For this presentation, straight rubbing alcohol does the quickest damage and though it’s hard to see on camera, a softening of the leather and loss of the protective coat occurs within seconds. It starts with the leather getting sticky, and once the coating compromised, the leather is easily damaged. We can see the leather flaking off as the video host runs his fingernail over the compromised section. Since other products are mixed in with hand sanitiser, the damage is a bit slower but it still happens in a very short amount of time. If you’re grabbing your steering wheel with hands still damp from the sanitiser, you could well be causing harm. Suffice it to say, you probably shouldn’t be slathering the wheel with it. The video recommends thoroughly cleaning the interior just a couple of times a year, but since it was posted pre-coronavirus, that might not be the best advice today. The video does recommend a simple mix of soap and water to keep the leather clean without causing damage, and it also recommends leather conditioners that don’t have a silicone or petroleum base. https://shopee.sg/MEGUIAR'S-RICH-LEATHER-SPRAY-G10916-AND-EDGELESS-MICROFIBER-i.92935577.1582174839 https://shopee.sg/Lexol-Spray-Leather-Conditioner-500ml-(genuine-Leather-Chair-Special-Care)-i.191408058.3605073162
  7. Would you avoid visiting the Dentist during this COVID-19 pandemic? After all there is the possible risk of aerosol transmission between consecutive patients at the dental clinics, unless we are talking negative pressure dental rooms with strict infection control protocols. Wondering how is the general public viewing the importance of non-essential dental treatment during this pandemic. https://mothership.sg/2020/04/covid-dental-care/
  8. Social distancing has been heavily emphasized by all countries across the globe. This is a term relatively new and alien term to many of us, not just Singaporeans. We're used to queuing up like sardines in a tin can. What does it really mean for us Singaporeans? Restaurants and businesses have tried to place tape markings to demarcate queues, some have halved its tables and chairs at various outlets. But do Singaporeans really know how to work with the markings given? Some of the markings are too near due to space constraint and are not slots for you to stand in, they are supposed to provide safe distancing for you to stand at least 1m apart. Post the social distancing measures you've observed in this thread. First two correct, the rest wrong. Bad example (pic taken from our Minister CCS's fb page) Social distancing in a wedding. Tables further apart. Lesser people in one table. Social distancing in Our Tampines Hub. Honestly should just cancel this. Just watch movie at home this period la. Our Tampines Hub has also been actively telling people not to stay home, join the outdoor/family activities. A little irresponsible this period of time, sending the wrong message across. Many of us laugh at this arrangement. Will you adhere to this? If the lift is too packed, how? Wait for the next one lor. Or walk down the stairs if you're heading down. Why squeeze? Zero social distancing at Shake Shack despite the tiny black markings on the floor. Minimal social distancing observed for the first two. After that, who cares? 😫 Social distancing in Chinatown. Pretty hard isn't it? Toast Box? Social distancing is about standing at least 1m away from each other. The lines are not slots for you to stand in. Stand on or as near to the front line as possible so the person behind you can do the same. The authorities can't babysit us in every aspect. If you're queuing up for food, make a conscious effort to keep a distance from the next person even if there's no marking on the ground. If someone is standing too closely to you, step aside or ask the person to watch his or her distance. If the restaurant is too packed and nobody is adhering to social distancing, go to the next, do takeaway, call food delivery (ask the rider to place the food outside, minimize contact) We can make our own judgment, right? Most importantly, if you are unwell, stay home, see a doctor. Practice good social responsibility.
  9. The World Health Organisation (WHO) released new guidance for governments looking for exit strategies beyond existing lockdown measures. For many countries currently under lockdowns which have crippled or stalled economies, the answer of when and how to ease restrictions has not been easily answered or forthcoming. “We understand that these countries are now trying to assess when and how to ease these measures,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The answer depends on what countries do while these wide measures are in place.” Six criteria were identified in WHO’s guidance document to ensure that governments would be able to manage a controlled and deliberate transition from community transmission to a steady state of low level or no transmission. Any government that wants to start lifting restrictions must first meet six conditions: Transmission of Covid-19 is under control Health systems and public health capacity are able to detect, test, isolate and quarantine every case and trace every contact Hot spot risks are minimized in highly vulnerable places, such as nursing homes Preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand washing in workplaces have been establised Controlled and managed risk of new import cases from travellers Populations are fully engaged, understand and empowered to live under a new state of “normality” There must be a gradual process to prevent a cycle of new outbreaks. “You can’t replace lockdowns with nothing,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme. “We don’t want to lurch from lockdown to nothing to lockdown to nothing.” “We need to have a much more stable exit strategy that allows us to move carefully and persistently away from lockdown.” WHO has said that in most countries, it is too soon to get back to normal. Ending lockdowns prematurely in an attempt to restart economies could result in the reemergence of infections. There are currently more than 2 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide and more than 130,000 people have already died. https://codeblue.galencentre.org/2020/04/16/who-countries-need-to-meet-6-conditions-to-end-lockdowns/?fbclid=IwAR30p_2zYQjm0e7pVUI6AXY-OQ1l8h2jozomgaE3qwnEF9zpLyh3Tmae-8U After seeing all the crazy spikes and explosive nos pop out all across Asia, Europe, United States whats more interesting is how countries are executing their exit strategies from this pandemic. Meanwhile in SG our fight has just started So far countries already eased restrictions/planning to China South Korea New Zealand Vietnam? Germany Norway Switzerland USA
  10. https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a32690069/ford-testing-software-heat-police-vehicles-kill-coronavirus/ Ford has developed and is now testing software that can heat the cabin of Police Interceptor Utility vehicles—the Ford Explorers built for police use—to 133 degrees for 15 minutes, which Ford claims can reduce the concentration of the virus by 99 percent. The software heats the vehicle to 133 degrees through tapping into the vehicle's own climate control and powertrain. Ford worked with researchers at Ohio State University to reach the conclusion that maintaining the temperature for 15 minutes was long enough to kill the virus. “Our studies with Ford Motor Company indicate that exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius, or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by greater than 99 percent on interior surfaces and materials used inside Police Interceptor Utility vehicles," Jeff Jahnes and Jesse Kwiek, laboratory supervisors in the OSU department of microbiology, said in a statement. The software isn’t something that can only come on new vehicles; if Ford eventually makes it available, it can be uploaded by dealers into any of the 2013 to 2019 model Interceptors currently on the road. As Ford notes, this method, if proved effective, will be more thorough than using disinfectants to clean the interior of a vehicle and could be especially useful in a vehicle that may be used to transport sick. "Officers can now use this self-cleaning mode as an extra layer of protection inside the vehicle in areas where manual cleaning is prone to be overlooked," Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager, said in a statement. "This virus is an invisible enemy, and we are proud to provide a solution to help the law enforcement community fight it."
  11. BREAKING: PM Lee to address the nation at 5pm today. Live broadcast on TV and radio https://www.facebook.com/leehsienloong/ PM LEE ANNOUNCEMENTS & MULTI MINISTRY PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEOS ADDED BY BABYBLADE PM Lee Hsien Loong on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore on 21 April 2020 COVID-19 circuit breaker: Singapore announces entry limits to some wet markets Could Singapore have done more to prevent the COVID-19 spike among foreign workers in dormitories? COVID-19: Foreign workers living in dorms have to stop working, says Josephine Teo Why Singapore authorities want you to go out alone, amid tighter COVID-19 circuit breaker measures Singapore extends COVID-19 circuit breaker period until June 1
  12. https://mothership.sg/2020/03/never-follow-stay-home-notice/ From Mar. 20, all travellers entering Singapore will be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). People under SHN have to remain in their place of residence at all times. But one man in Singapore not only went out for bak kut teh the day he touched down, but posted that he was “feeling fantastic” about it on Facebook. The man identifies himself as a photographer in his profile. In the comments, plenty of Facebook friends were seen calling him out for flouting his SHN. The photographer then replied that his SHN hasn’t started, as he was allegedly told by the customs officer that the following day would be Day 1. However, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), this is because the day of touchdown is considered Day 0 — which is also the day SHN commences. In fact, one friend was so upset that he made a Facebook post out of the above screenshots. According to this friend, the photographer had returned from Myanmar one to two days ago. The post was uploaded on the morning of Mar. 24, and deleted on the same night. Myanmar confirmed its first two cases of Covid-19 on Mar. 23, both of who are imported cases. Is this man for real? He thinks that Day 0 is not counted in SHN? It will be funny if he goes to jail because of this🤣
  13. If you drive a Volvo, you're paying top dollar for safety. The XC60 is the Volvo with the most safety features packed into it, making it the "safest car in the world." Then you have this XC60 Uncle who confronts another driver without wearing a mask. All that safety becomes moot. Here's the video that the dashcam driver uploaded on SG Road Vigilante (XC60 uncle comes out from the car at about 0.30) Salty dashcam driver It honestly looks like dashcam driver wasn't too pleased with XC60 Uncle making a U-turn even though XC60 had ample time and space to do so. Dashcam driver (clearly salty af) chases after the XC60 and cuts into its path dangerously at a traffic junction. He even removed the audio from the video so you can't hear him sound his horn or curse at the start of the video. Read the comments later. It backfires against him. What Covid-19 safety measures? Moving on to the angry XC60 Uncle. It’s understandable that when you’re angry, you do things out of impulse. However, the new Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act clearly states that The Straits Times Most Singaporeans are doing their part to bring the country back on its feet again. So please don’t be a CB during the CB, no matter how angry you are. Comments from netizens (even the Volvo Driver!) THE VOLVO DRIVER RESPONDED TO THE VIDEO! Eh, but seriously, should have worn a mask lah. It would be quite sway to get charged for a different offence from the original accusation. Good luck XC60 Uncle!
  14. ... I was using the number of hospitalised cases to track if the dorm outbreak was post or pre lockdown. Things was not looking good yesterday when I saw a huge increase in hospitalised cases which should be symptomatic to over 4K... this morning I woke up, all the data is gone and the number of hospitalised cases has magically dropped to 1plus k.... by reclassification. I mean it’s either you are in hospital or not in hospital... not rocket science... how do u get the number wrong by 4x? hahaha... like China.... wonder will they reclassify icu cases a few days later. must be Super hero “Reclassify” saving all our hospital staff... huge drop in patients overnight.
  15. So is it safe to say that in 2 weeks time, the number of recovered should be in the 5k range since that was the number of cases that recorded in the past week.
  16. A lot of our recent cases has very short hospitalisation days (from confirmation to discharge). There are at least 10 cases of 2 days only. This is a very scary sign as there might be a lot of asymptomatic ppl running around.
  17. Moving all thread starting from 22 Apr onwards.
  18. 36 Eerie Photos Of Empty Places Around The World During Social Distancing Cities across the globe look nearly empty as citizens practice self-quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic. source: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/eerie-photos-of-empty-places-around-the-world_uk_5e9e9aeec5b63c5b5873eb22 Governments around the globe have established strict stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving some of the most widely photographed spots on Earth more or less empty. While it’s jarring to witness, say, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame or Mecca’s Grand Mosque nearly empty, it’s also impressive; seeing these locations virtually deserted is proof that we’re all making an honest attempt to flatten the curve by staying home. Below are 36 photos of places across the world that are nearly empty due to our social distancing efforts. Beijing A woman wears a protective mask as she takes a photo on a nearly empty section of the Great Wall on March 27, 2020, near Badaling in Beijing, China. New York City An empty 7th Avenue in Times Square on April 19, 2020, in New York City. London Abbey Road zebra crossing on April 16, 2020, in London. Cairo A picture on April 18, 2020, shows the Great Pyramids lit in blue with the message "Stay Home" outside the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia An empty staircase leading to the Batu Caves temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 30, 2020. Llandudno, Wales Mountain goats roam the streets of Llandudno, Wales, on March 31, 2020. The goats normally live on the rocky Great Orme but are occasional visitors to the seaside town; a local councillor told the BBC that the herd was drawn by the lack of people due to social distancing. Los Angeles The dinosaur atop the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium wears a mask to encourage people to take safety measures as coronavirus infections spread on April 19, 2020. Mecca, Saudi Arabia An aerial view shows an empty white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque on March 6, 2020. Pattaya, Thailand The empty Legend Siam theme park in Pattaya on March 8, 2020. The park, which attracts up to 20,000 mainly Chinese customers a day in the high season, is temporarily closed. Vatican City A view of empty chairs at St. Peter's Square before the live broadcast of Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus prayer on March 8, 2020, in Vatican City, Vatican. Sydney A before-and-after composite image shows Bondi Beach with a large gathering of beachgoers on March 20, 2020 (top) and again on March 22, 2020, after the beach was closed to the public. Tunis, Tunisia Cats on a nearly empty street in the Medina neighborhood of Tunis, Tunisia. Rome A view of the Colosseum in the evening in Rome. Moscow A pigeon sits in the Iberian Gate in a deserted Red Square on April 2, 2020. Bangkok A view of empty streets, shuttered bars, and closed restaurants on Khaosan Road on April 15, 2020 in Bangkok. April 13-15 marks Songkran, Thailand's Buddhist new year celebration, when Thai people typically travel to the provinces to be with family or take part in large-scale water fights and parties throughout Bangkok. Ballachulish, Scotland Empty chairlifts at the Glencoe Ski Centre in Ballachulish, Scotland. Jerusalem A man prays at the nearly empty Western Wall in the old city on April 6, 2020, in Jerusalem. Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Empty sunbeds at Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai on March 12, 2020. Paris The Arc de Triomphe is almost deserted during lockdown on April 12, 2020. Belo Horizonte, Brazil Aerial view of Guanabara Park during the coronavirus outbreak in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on April 5, 2020. Washington, D.C. An empty Vietnam Veterans Memorial on April 14, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Anaheim, California A lock hangs on the center gate between the turnstiles at the entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on March 16, 2020. Tehran, Iran A photo on March 20, 2020, shows an empty street in Tehran, Iran. Washington, D.C. The empty Metro Center station on April 15, 2020, in Washington, D.C. New Delhi A closed Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) as India remains under lockdown on April 20, 2020, in New Delhi. London Looking east along Oxford Street from Marble Arch on April 16, 2020, in London. Los Angeles Contrasting images of morning rush hour on the 110 freeway a week before stay-at-home orders were issued in Los Angeles, and a photo of the freeway after the orders went into effect. Mexico City A view of the almost-empty parking lot of a closed shopping center in the Santa Fe neighborhood of Mexico City on April 4, 2020. Venice, Italy Parked gondolas in a strangely desolate and silent Venice, Italy, on April 19, 2020. Baltimore A lone passenger sleeps in an otherwise empty Amtrak car as the train pulls into Penn Station on April 9, 2020, in Baltimore. New York City A view inside Grand Central Terminal during the coronavirus pandemic on April 19, 2020 in New York City. Venice Beach, California Venice Skate Park, partially filled with sand to deter people from skating there, on April 17, 2020. Washington, D.C. A March 31, 2020 photo shows a vacant metro station during rush hour in Washington D.C. Normandy, France The center of Etretat, Normandy, on April 20, 2020, on the 35th day of a strict lockdown in France. Istanbul Roads and squares are empty in the Eminonu District of Istanbul on April 19, 2020. Tokyo An empty street with no lights on in Tokyo's Shinjuku neighborhood on April 19.
  19. 14 countries that are paying their workers during quarantine — and how they compare to America's $1,200 stimulus checks source: https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/photos/14-countries-that-are-paying-their-workers-during-quarantine-—-and-how-they-compare-to-americas-dollar1200-stimulus-checks/ss-BB12I9Mr?li=BBr8Mkh 14 countries that are paying their workers during quarantine — and how they compare to America's $1,200 stimulus checks As countries around the world bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, some governments are stepping in with direct assistance. From monthly payments to one-time checks, many countries are putting cash directly in the hands of impacted or self-employed workers. 80 million Americans should receive stimulus checks this week, and tens of millions are set to receive them today. Others, like France and Denmark, have stepped in to subsidize workers' wages and prevent layoffs. The wake of the coronavirus pandemic has left people around the world have with their livelihoods — and daily lives — completely upended. In response to the economic fallout, some governments have stepped in to cushion the blow felt by sudden closures and the shrinking of entire industries. In many countries, workers in specific sectors and self-employed citizens have found themselves particularly impacted. The United States Treasury Department announced that at least 80 million Americans will have their $1,200 stimulus checks direct-deposited this week — and tens of millions should have received them by today. On top of that stimulus check, House Democrats just introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act; the bill would give $2,000 every month — for six months — to Americans over the age of 16 making less than $130,000 a year. From checks to basic income, here's how different countries are providing direct assistance. Spain is moving towards establishing a permanent basic income. On Sunday evening, minister for economic affairs Nadia Calviño said that the government was working on implementing cash handouts. It will likely be for low-income citizens. There is no exact plan for when handouts will begin, or what exactly it will look like. "We're going to do it as soon as possible," Calviño said, Business Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reports. "So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever." Denmark will pay 75% to 90% of workers' salaries on behalf of employers, as long as workers aren't laid off. In mid-March, the Danish government announced that it would give private companies 75% of their workers' salaries for 13 weeks. Companies can only receive that money — $3,288 a month— if they do not fire workers, Derek Thompson at The Atlantic reports. The measure is meant to keep workers home during the pandemic; they're not allowed to work during the three month period. The government will also cover sick leave and give businesses money for fixed expenses like rent, Business Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reports. The country may spend up to 13% of its gross domestic product financing the plan. In the Netherlands, the government will pay up to 90% of workers' salaries. Companies that expect to lose at least 20% of their revenue can apply for funding. The government will then cover wages for the next three months. Companies are only eligible for funding if they don't lay off workers during the time the government provides aid. The UK government will pay up to 80% of workers' wages, a first for the country. The plan will cover around $3,000 a month, Zeballos-Roig reports. And companies could use it retroactively, rehiring any workers who were laid off. In addition, the government has given free cash grants to small businesses. France is offering self-employed workers up to $1,600. Around 600,000 French citizens can receive the money if lockdowns stopped them from working or reduced business by 70%, reports Melissa Eddy at The New York Times. Additionally, the country is spending $50 billion to pay businesses to keep workers employed, according to Liz Alderman at The New York Times. "There's a very different strategy in Europe than in the United States about how to manage this recession," Patrick Artus, chief economist of Paris-based Natixis Bank, told Alderman. "The idea is to have no layoffs or company closures, so that when the coronavirus is finally under control the economy can start right back up." Germany is offering aid to small employers and freelancers, and 150,000 workers in Berlin received direct assistance within days. All 16 states in Germany are offering payments to smaller businesses and self-employed citizens, Eddy reports. The aid comes from a combination of state funds and federal support from the country's coronavirus package. In Berlin, this group accounts for almost a quarter of all business. The process for receiving aid there has reportedly been noteworthy for its efficiency. "We are all pretty amazed," Laurenz Bostedt, a freelance photographer, told Eddy. "It went surprisingly fast and was all refreshingly well-organized." Italy will give around $650 to self-employed and seasonal workers. The day after applications for funds opened, the website crashed, Eddy reports. The United States will send many Americans $1,200 stimulus checks. Many Americans will automatically receive their checks, Business Insider's Libby Kane and Tanza Loudenback report. Around 80 million Americans will receive them this week, with tens of millions slated to get theirs by April 15. Paper checks will be sent out after April 24. Not everyone will receive $1,200; you can use an online calculator to figure out how much you'll receive. Two House Democrats — Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Ro Khanna — have introduced a bill that would provide even more funds to Americans. Business Insider's Charles Davis reported that, under the Emergency Money for the People Act, American citizens over the age of 16 — and making less than $130,000 — would receive $2,000 a month. The payments would last for at least six months and until unemployment returns to a pre-pandemic level. Qualifying families could receive an additional $500 per child. In Brussels, self-employed workers are eligible for replacement income in March and April. The different regions of Belgium have offered different payments. Brussels will compensate those who are self-employed and have either had to stop working or had work disrupted for at least seven days. The different regions are all offering funding to impacted cultural sectors. South Korea will cover 70% or more of wages. Some contractors and self-employed or part-time workers may also be eligible for a one-time cash payment, The New York Times reports. Malaysia is offering direct handouts to workers in some impacted industries. Bus and taxi drivers, tour guides, immigration workers, and medical workers will all receive money from Malaysia's coronavirus package, Bloomberg reports. Ireland introduced weekly emergency payments for self-employed people and those who had lost their jobs. Payments were about $220 a week, according to Reuters. Over 58,000 people had claimed them just three days after the announcement. In Australia, over 6 million "low-income earners" will receive $750 cash payments. "Frankly, it is about a cash injection into the Australian economy, which supports small businesses and supports medium businesses," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, according to The Guardian. "That, in turn, supports the jobs, which means people can continue to participate positively in the economy and have greater confidence going forward." In Hong Kong, the government will pay 50% of workers' salaries for six months. The government will also funnel over $100 million into a program that helps workers learn new skills and businesses implement more technology, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports. Additionally, the government will add 30,000 new jobs in the next two years. "In these unprecedented circumstances, the government must have some unprecedented responses — to help businesses to survive, safeguard employment, and minimize the burden on businesses and citizens," Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said, according to SCMP.
  20. British PM Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/coronavirus-boris-johnson-tests-positive-covid-19-uk-12583694
  21. By the power of YouTube, Thai monks make DIY safety gear source: https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/by-the-power-of-youtube-thai-monks-make-diy-safety-gear/?utm_source=Coconuts+Media+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=fa968126fe-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_03_07_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c10d7999ee-fa968126fe-81627997 In saffron robes, they walked in single file, their feet bare. In their hands, their alms bowls. Across their faces, handmade face shields crafted in the ancient tradition of DIY YouTube videos. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, which this morning saw another 127 cases and one death reported, everyone is adapting to a new normal to survive, including the Buddhist monks at Matchantikaram Temple in Nonthaburi province. Photos and videos of the monks collecting morning alms have been going viral online since yesterday with several television news outlets highlighting their safety- and fashion-conscious walk through the neighborhood wearing face shields to deter infection. Their snug cloth face masks are even the right shade of orange. “We learned from YouTube and made them three days ago,” Phra Maha Somkiat Yannasuttho told The Standard. “I asked a parishioner to go out and buy transparent sheets, sponges and rubber bands, then we stapled them all together.” Thailand has now officially reported 1,651 cases and 10 deaths since January. “I wore a face mask, and I could barely breathe,” another monk said. “Then I did more research and found that droplets can enter the eyes too, so I made the face shield.” The widely shared story brought praise for the crafty monks and their creativity, while others expressed concern that they still go out barefoot to receive food. “I want an exemption that allows the monks to be able to wear shoes while receiving alms because the roads are dirty and it poses risks to them getting injured and infected,” Facebook user Patcharee Na Rangsee wrote. Many also suggested that maybe the monks should do what many others are doing to stay fed: order from delivery services. “Would it cause drama if I suggested that they should avoid going out during these times? Whoever wants to offer alms should make it via a food delivery app already,” user Anan Jaikhumkao wrote.
  22. RickyWee

    COVID-19: Help Malaysian Workers

    https://mothership.sg/2020/03/malaysian-sleeping-outdoors-kranji-mrt/ Sleeping outdoors In a few photos posted to social media, Malaysian workers unable to find accommodation have been camping out at Kranji MRT. The workers can be seen sleeping on mats on the cold, hard floor, outside the gates of the station. Their minimal belongings are either piled next to them or used as makeshift pillows. Kranji MRT is a common transit point between Singapore and Malaysia, as numerous bus services ferry workers from Kranji to Johor Bahru. Singaporeans offering spare rooms Some generous Singaporeans have taken to offering spaces for lodging in a bid to extend a helping hand to Malaysian workers. Activist Gilbert Goh has been acting as a liaison between Singaporeans with spare rooms and affected workers. In a few posts on his Facebook, Goh displayed offers of temporary housing. Well done to Goh for forking out the time to helping those in need. We need to have more people like this, willing to help those who are in need during times like these.
  23. https://www.kmspks.org/about-kmspks/notice-on-novel-coronavirus/ Help to spread the word so that those who are not so connected to internet, especially the elderly, do not have to make the trip there with all the offerings for Qing Ming only to realise it is closed
  24. Trump Uses Coronavirus Press Conference to Confirm He’s an Actual Sociopath source: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/donald-trump-peter-alexander-coronavirus-press-conference Over the past three years, many terms have been thrown around to describe Donald Trump. Phrases like “huge moron,” “colossal jerk,” “massive prick,” and, our personal favorite, “malignant tumor.” Obviously many have agreed that the 45th president of the United States is both a terrible person and an idiot incapable of tweeting a coherent sentence, let alone running the country. Still, some have worried it would be taking things too far to diagnose the man as a full-blown sociopath. Are we being too cavalier with the designation, they’ve likely fretted. Shouldn’t we wait until the Mar-a-Lago groundskeepers find a few dozen heads in the basement, they’ve probably wondered. On Friday, however, Trump confirmed for all the world to see that he indeed has no conscience. During a press conference at the White House, NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump, “What do you say to the Americans who are scared, though? Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions, as you’ve witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” In reality this was a softball question that anyone with a semblance of a soul would be able to answer, responding with something like, “That’s an understandable feeling. I would tell them we’re in this together and we’re doing everything we can, as fast as we can.” But Trump literally only thinks about himself, so instead he told Alexander: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter. That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope, and you’re doing sensationalism and the same with NBC and con-cast. I don’t call it Comcast, I call it ‘con-cast.’ Let me just tell you something. That’s really bad reporting, and you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.” Seemingly responding to criticism that he’d irresponsibly hyped the drug chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, despite the fact that it hasn’t yet been approved by the FDA for the virus, Trump snarled, “Let’s see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows. I’ve been right a lot.” As many have noted, employees at NBC, where Alexander works, lost a colleague to the virus today, but obviously it shouldn’t take such an event for the president to muster up or even fake some empathy for people who are terrified about a fast-moving pandemic. Later, given the opportunity to prove to the American people that he’s not a total monster, Trump declined: As did his merry band of sycophants, who would apparently rather kiss the ring than calm the nation during an unprecedented, petrifying time: COVID-19 testing in Darien? The Darien? Of the Fairfield, Connecticut Dariens? No, thank you! Darien, Connecticut, is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with a median household income of $208,000 across a population of about 21,000. There are multiple yacht clubs there, and massive mansions worth millions of dollars. The town announced this week that Murphy Medical Associates would offer drive-through coronavirus testing in a parking lot at Darien’s town hall. While you didn’t need to be a resident of Darien to get tested there, you did need to be directed there by a doctor after an online screening process. If a doctor didn’t direct you to go there to get tested, they would not test you. Those restrictions weren’t enough for the residents. Earlier today the Darien Times reported that the drive-through testing had been canceled because neighbors complained that the testing was too close to their homes. As Reason magazine notes, the testing would not have been a danger to any of these residents. Also, testing has to happen somewhere and apparently the people complaining were fine with it happening in the neighboring towns of Bridgeport, New London, New Haven, and Greenwich. Later on Friday, however, something of a compromise was apparently struck, and the town has agreed to allow testing to take place one day a week at the local high school starting Monday. But keep it snappy! Trump’s week is actually going pretty well, thanks Not only did he get to berate a reporter for asking a perfectly reasonable question, but his elusive tax returns shall remain elusive for a while longer: As the federal government prepares to bail out a number of industries affected by coronavirus, like casinos and cruise lines, some people have suggested that it would be nice for Americans to know which bailouts the president stands to benefit from on a personal financial basis. Apparently that information will have to wait, though. Eric Trump reminds Californians that when this is over, if they haven’t died, they should come on down to his family’s for-profit golf club Elsewhere! Mike Bloomberg Is Giving Up on His Anti-Trump Super PAC (Hive) Stacey Abrams Is Joe Biden’s Strongest Running-Mate Prospect, Poll Finds (Intelligencer) IRS extends tax filing deadline to July 15 as coronavirus spreads, Mnuchin says (CNBC) Trump Says He Will Use Defense-Act Powers to Boost Coronavirus Medical Supplies (WSJ) More than 4,000 National Guardsmen deployed in 31 states (Washington Post) “Sell-Everything” Strategy Is Causing Massive Credit Turmoil (Bloomberg) Grappling With Losses, Hedge Funds Seek New Ways to Make Money (NYT) The Next Coronavirus Financial Crisis: Record Piles of Risky Corporate Debt (WSJ) U.K. government to pay 80% of wages for those not working in coronavirus crisis (Guardian) 3M doubles output of N95 respirator masks amid coronavirus outbreak (NYP) Trump almost tweeted that Tom Hanks had died from coronavirus (Business Insider) Toilet paper calculator tells you how long your stash will last (NYP)
  25. Hi all. This is a question I've been asked by a couple of you who are concerned about your upcoming holiday trip - whether you should postpone your trip or not. I'm aware there's another thread regarding flight cancellations but I'll start this one here to share more about my FIRST Bali trip and in particular UBUD! This will include itineraries and tour operators! But I'll update slowly as I've just returned to work and have emails and work to clear. We'll talk about the Changi Airport situation first. - I had a 5am flight. Took a Grab to the airport with my friend. Driver wore a mask, but was coughing! He was really friendly to help with our luggage though. Wished him well when we alighted. - Inside Terminal 1 (flight was Jetstar), about 50% (my estimation could be wrong) of the people wearing masks, this is comparatively higher to the heartlands where it's about 30%-40% wearing masks? - Auto-dispense Sanitizers (sensor type) readily available at the auto check-in counters. Everything was normal except we exceeded our 15kg sole check in luggage by 5kg (it was 20kg). Spent the next 30 mins trying to unpack and repack to 15kg. What a bummer. - Immigration, thermal scans. Few people sitting behind the thermal scanners/monitors watching you as you make your way towards immigration. For me, it was also my first time using the iris and facial ID for immigration clearance on my new passport. Times like these, it's also much more hygienic than thumbprint scan. After we cleared immigration, it was pretty much normal. Normal in the sense you can feel the seriousness in the air (virus scare) but at the same time, everything is normal but you take extra precautions. You see more people masking up, you see people using hand sanitizers proactively etc. 4am shops closed, nothing much to do. For me personally, I masked up just before boarding the plane. Flight to Bali was about 70% filled. You see empty seats here and there. Air crew didn't wear masks. Tough job. Huge respect to them! On the plane I refrained from touching anything onboard the plane other than the seat belts and the window shades when it got too sunny. I would sanitize my hands after each time. Used to like to go through the inflight magazines as well to kill time, didn't do it this time. What surprised me was the number of Caucasians wearing masks. In Singapore, you see lots of ang mohs tourists not masking up but in the airport, a good percentage of them actually masked up. It may or may not be effective against the virus but I guess we're just doing it for peace of mind, even if it's just a false sense of security. Whatever floats your boat you get what I mean? We're also handed a declaration form regarding the COVID-19. This is required by the Indonesian immigration. Basically to state if you've been to China for the past 14 days. Landing in Bali Never expected the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport to be this big and modern! Again, thermal scans just before immigration, and also you have to hand in the COVID-19 declaration form, and in return you're given a COVID-19 paper. I see it as declaring us as COVID-19 free? Lol. The way I see it, the checks being done felt the same as Changi Airport. I don't see Singapore as being more stringent or anything like that. Heard immigration officers asking another Singaporean if she's been to China. Apparently she was there for a holiday in December but left in January 22nd or something like that. He asked her things like why were you there, etc. Think he cleared her in the end. So yeah that's about the experience at Changi, onboard the plane and Bali airport. Medications I bought for the trip I have sinus every morning and also I catch a cold quite easily on a flight. Didn't wanna be mistaken for having COVID-19 symptoms so I bought medications. - Afrin Nasal Spray ( I use at least 2 hours before the flight) - Zyrtec-R (Take 2 hours before flight) - Panadol Sinus Max - Panadol Cough & Cold - Berocca - VapoDrops (Just in case my sinus acts up mid flight) - Panadols - Kool Fever Cooling Gel Sheets for adults - Mozzie coils - Insect repellent - Mozzie patch - Ru Yi You (my middle name is lao sai queen) So I went on this trip fully aware Bali could already have infections. We all know Zero is impossible. But at the same time, already booked so it's a bit wasted if cancel right? Besides you can catch the virus in Singapore too. It's just a number game and to do with probability. You can only try to practice good hygiene as much as possible and as much as we can remember. Gonna continue with the Bali itinerary later. Back to work! TOTAL MASKS USED FOR THIS ENTIRE 5 DAYS TRIP - 2! (One for plane to Bali, one for plane ride back to SG)