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Found 86 results

  1. Malaysia to impose MCO for 2 weeks from Jan 13 in several states to curb Covid-19 cases: Muhyiddin https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/pm-muhyiddin-to-hold-press-conference-at-6pm-as-malaysia-mulls-partial-lockdown-to-curb "this is not unexpected" ...
  2. 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.
  3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/phase-3-covid-19-singapore-reopening-dec-28-pm-lee-13769528 S’pore Will Enter Phase 3 On 28 Dec, PM Lee Says Groups Of Up To 8 Can Gather. More details on Phase 3 will be given by the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force after Mr Lee’s address.
  4. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/norway-warns-of-vaccination-risks-for-sick-elderly-patients-after-23-die-2353257 Norway Warns of Vaccination Risks For Sick Elderly Patients After 23 Die Norwegian officials said 23 people had died in the country a short time after receiving their first dose of the vaccine. Of those deaths, 13 have been autopsied, with the results suggesting that common side effects may have contributed to severe reactions in frail, elderly people, according to the Norwegian Medicines Agency. Pfizer and BioNTech are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths in Norway, Pfizer said in an e-mailed statement. The agency found that "the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations," Pfizer said. Allergic reactions have been uncommon so far. In the U.S., authorities reported 21 cases of severe allergic reactions from Dec. 14-23 after administration of about 1.9 million initial doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. That's an incidence of 11.1 cases per million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though both Covid-19 vaccines approved so far in Europe were tested in tens of thousands of people -- including volunteers in their late 80s and 90s -- the average trial participant was in his or her early 50s. The first people to be immunized in many places have been older than that as countries rush to inoculate nursing-home residents at high risk from the virus.
  5. The new restrictions before Chinese New Year will include a cap of eight distinct visitors per household per day. This is different from the current restriction of eight visitors at one time. But enforcing the rule might be a tad difficult, considering these are houses and not public places. Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) co-chair Lawrence Wong acknowledged that enforcement for this new rule is "not going to be so easy". He listed a few possible ways that the enforcement might occur if the rules are not adhered to. Enforcement Officers will do random spot checks, and neighbours might also tell on rule-breakers. In response to a media question, Wong said that random spot checks had been done before, and it wasn't new. However he reiterated that it would not be easy, and called on everyone to cooperate and do their part. Wong also strongly advised those going out to visit to keep it to no more than two other households per day, particularly during the Chinese New Year period. source: https://mothership.sg/2021/01/8-visitors-cny-day/
  6. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/could-cancellation-chinese-new-year-bazaar-chinatown-have-been-avoided The author of this article is asking the obvious question. U can still get your cny goodies without goin to the bazaar n i think its absolutely sensible to cancel the bazaar becuz theres no way to prevent overcrowding u can manage/regulate the number of people goin to the bazaar but there will be a long string of queue n thats still overcrowding geylang serai bazaar/christmas bazaars all cancelled so i dun see why we chinese would feel that we are entitled to have our cny bazaar in the middle of a pandemic where covid-19 is still raging around the world and even our closest neighbours i am appreciate that living in Singapore almost feel like living in a bubble enough of my lor soh..... where is everyone getting your cny goodies from? i usually get from Gin Thye this year wife also ordering pineapple tarts from home bakeries some misc stuff we intend to get from ntuc or sheng siong early to avoid overcrowding closer to cny
  7. How I cope with WFH (Working from home) So this is how I am coping with working from home. I am not the most diligent worker you have seen. But my motto is work smart don't work hard. So my job scope is smth like a dialysis machine. . . My boss will have something that needs to improve or need to work on, then I will be the one working on it, making sure that the end products are relatable to the dealers/consumers. And of cuz, MyCarForum is my baby. So everyone here always sees me commenting, laughing, goofing around here. So you can say I am a papa-san in MCF. @RadX & @BabyBlade is still the discipline master and mistress. So, in the morning I wake up in my usual timing, I will pack my bed, do some mediation and light exercise before I wash up myself. Once, I have wash-up, I make myself a cup of oat milk. And because now my office is just like 13 steps away, I just take a slowwww walk back to my "office". I usually start my day with MCF, checking all the past replies and try to find interesting news to share inside MCF. And once I have done it, I will check on my email. replying to all the necessary correspondent. I also try to make my room as bright as possible, so that I am in the zone of working. Usually, my room is like a bat cave. I do not take naps and after a few tasks and replying on MCF, time flies. And it is time for lunch! I took my bicycle and cycle to kopitiam and dabao-ed duck rice. And I will eat at my dining table instead of my room. Just to change the environment abit. While eating, I did watch a bit of the Porsche documentary that @Mockngbrd recommend. Quite a nice documentary. TBH. I haven't finished yet thou. Then after my lunch, I rest a bit, went down and walk my dog and bring her go pee pee. Then when I am back home, I went to shower to freshen myself. Once I am done with the shower, I am back to work! Same old, same old. making sure some of my tasks is done, talking to my colleagues in teams. And usually, during the afternoon my concentration wasn't at my prime. I will "wander" off to read on some other stuff. Mainly is tech/car. (checking how to mod my car or what new stuff xiaomi come out.) Walk to the kitchen and make myself a cup of green tea, and munched on some biscuit. Chatted with my HR abit, as she is making sure we are all working at home. Then go back to work. . . My co-worker have different live thou. 😕 She just NAPPPPPPPP alll the wayyyyy! What do I think of working from home? It is definitely a good initiative at this time, as you minimise on public transport and socializing. However, the person who is working from home, must have some vigilant/discipline, if not end of the day you will be simpson-ing all the way. Here's are some of the things that I find it helpful for myself when I am working from home. Have a designated work area. (Tell yourself, when you are there, you are working.) No working at your bed. I play music while I am working so depends on your style. Separate your dining away from your work area. On aircon/shower if needed. (I tried not to on aircon during the morning, but I BTH. Once I have showered, I on air-con and work) Have a very realistic to-do list (try to strike out as many as possible, can add more list along the way too) Walk around or make urself a coffee if you are not in the zone. (same when you are in the office) So here are some of my takes for working at home. I think is doable, but the end day is still the trust between you and your employer lah. They must trust you, and you must not abuse it also. 🙂 Okay! back to work!
  8. 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
  9. SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) will cut 96 per cent of its capacity that had been scheduled up to the end of April, said the airline on Monday (Mar 23). The decision was made after the further tightening of border controls around the world over the last week to stem the COVID-19 outbreak, SIA said in a news release. About 138 SIA and SilkAir planes, out of a total fleet of 147, will be grounded as a result. Scoot, the company's low-cost unit, will suspend "most of its network" and will ground all but two of its 49 planes. This comes amid the "greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence", the company said. "It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted," it said. "The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA’s passenger revenues." https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/covid-19-singapore-airlines-suspend-flights-coronavirus-12566248?cid=FBcna bad year for aviation
  10. SPH retrenching 140 employees due to Covid-19 source: https://mothership.sg/2020/08/sph-retrench-140-employees/ Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) held a restructuring exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 18, laying off 140 employees from the Media Solutions Division (MSD) and SPH Magazines. According to SPH, this accounts for about 5 per cent of the group's overall headcount, and will incur retrenchment costs of approximately S$8 million. Covid-19 has significantly impacted advertising revenue SPH's CEO Ng Yat Chung said that subscription and readership of SPH's news titles have "increased since the onset of Covid-19", but the Covid-19 pandemic has also significantly impacted their advertising revenue. "A more integrated approach of producing and selling our content across our various platforms will allow us to deal more efficiently and effectively with the new level of demand we are seeing from our advertisers and audience," said Ng. According to SPH's statement, the group has informed the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) and National Trades Union Congress on this exercise. Affected staff will receive compensation on terms negotiated and agreed with the union. "CMPU and SPH management jointly reviewed the selection criteria to ensure that the Singaporean Core within the company is safeguarded as far as possible. The union also negotiated for a fair compensation package for affected employees", said CMPU in a media statement. SPH also said that it have been working closely with the union and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to ensure that affected staff will receive the help and support they require during this period. SPH's last retrenchment exercise was in October 2019 This is SPH's third round of retrenchment since 2017. In October 2019, SPH announced that it will retrench 5 per cent of its staff by the end of the year, despite earning a profit of S$213.2 million for the financial year which ended in Aug. 31, 2019. In October 2017, the media group cut 230 jobs, 130 of which were retrenchments. The remaining job reductions resulted from retirement, termination of contracts and roles that were eliminated due to restructuring of work processes. This resulted in a total of 15 per cent of the staff in newsrooms and sales operations being reduced. According to SPH, the company has reviewed its costs, cut back on discretionary spending, and instituted pay cuts for senior management since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. In March this year, SPH announced that its directors, which includes the CEO, and senior management would be taking voluntary pay cuts of 10 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
  11. Honestly, I think these staycation and cruise to nowhere are putting people to unnecessary risk of infection, from a health and safety point of view. I know of companies that are considering issuing SHN to those returning from cruise and staycation as an added precaution. I wouldn't say that is unreasonable... MOH investigating 13 Covid-19 infections among people who served stay-home notices at Mandarin Orchard hotel SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Dec 19) that it is investigating 13 cases of Covid-19 infection among individuals who had served stay-home notice (SHN) at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel, which will stop accepting new guests with immediate effect. In a press statement, MOH advised guests who have stayed at the hotel between Nov 11 and Dec 19 to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their last date of stay. “They should see a doctor promptly if they develop symptoms of acute respiratory infection (such as cough, sore throat and runny nose), as well as fever and loss of taste or smell, and inform the doctor of their exposure history,” said MOH. It added that persons on SHN are housed in a dedicated tower and floors at the hotel, segregated from all other guests, with no interaction amongst them. “However as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all guests in the hotel, the hotel will check out all its occupants. Persons serving SHN will be transported via dedicated vehicles to an alternative SHN dedicated facility. "Deep cleaning and disinfection will be carried out by the hotel, in consultation with MOH and the National Environment Agency.” The hotel has made arrangements to check out existing guests progressively. Restaurant and event spaces within the hotel will also be closed. MOH said that as part of routine laboratory surveillance, the National Public Health Laboratory conducts whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis on all Covid-19 cases. It takes about four weeks to culture the virus and complete the genome sequencing. Thirteen imported cases, who were confirmed between Nov 2 and 11 to have Covid-19 infection, were observed to have high genetic similarity despite the cases having arrived from different countries, including Bahrain, Canada, Indonesia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Philippines, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. “This suggests that these cases were likely infected from a similar source," said MOH." Further investigations by MOH found that these 13 cases had served SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between Oct 22 and Nov 11. Genome sequencing and analysis are continuing for cases beyond Nov 11.” The ministry said that epidemiological investigations were immediately initiated to determine if there is a potential link between these 13 cases and if transmission could have occurred locally, and not from their country of origin. “From MOH’s preliminary investigations, we cannot exclude that transmissions could have occurred at Mandarin Orchard Singapore. ”The ministry has started special testing operations to test around 500 staff of the hotel for Covid-19 infection. These include the staff serving those on SHN as well as those who serve other guests in other parts of the hotel. “We will also test all who are currently serving SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore for Covid-19 infection to determine their status, instead of waiting till their SHN exit swab. ”MOH said that hotels used as SHN dedicated facilities must have in place strict protocols to segregate persons on SHN from all other guests. These include placing persons on SHN in segregated blocks, wings or floors, and ensuring their route of movement is clearly demarcated from other guests. Persons on SHN are also not allowed to leave their rooms during their stay, and rooms are thoroughly disinfected and sanitised upon completion of SHN according to strict infection control measures. “They will also not be allowed access to common facilities in the hotels. The Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Police Force conduct regular checks on these hotels to ensure that safe management measures are complied with, and that security measures are in place,” said MOH. “The Government takes a serious view of any breach in protocols and will investigate and take actions should there be non-compliance.”
  12. RickyWee

    Covid-19 Sharing of Food Delivery

    Hi guys, since the circuit breaker, most people will be staying at home and I believe that food deliveries are in high demand now. We can of course order our food from Food Panda, Deliveroo or GrabFood as they offer a wide variety of food selection but what about the restaurants that are doing their own delivery services? Therefore, this thread is for us to share restaurants that we loved😍 which are doing their own delivery services so all of us can support them. Just simply list those restaurants you know who are doing independent delivery to homes, link the menu page if you can and detail any restrictions eg East Coast only. I will start us off with.... The Coconut Club, https://thecoconutclub.oddle.me, minimum order of $60
  13. Taiwan reports first locally transmitted coronavirus case since April source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/taiwan-reports-first-locally-transmitted-coronavirus-case-since-april TAIPEI (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Taiwan's government on Tuesday (Dec 22) reported its first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 since April 12. The individual who tested positive for Covid-19 was a friend of a person who had already been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told a news conference. The announcement ends what was the world's longest stretch without a domestic infection and providing a reminder of the virus's ability to outfox even the most successful efforts to contain it. The re-emergence of a local outbreak threatens to derail one of the standout success stories in the global fight against the pandemic. Taiwan has managed to keep its total number of cases to 766, with just seven deaths, through a combination of restricting travel into the island early in the outbreak and implementing a strict quarantine and contact tracing strategy. Taiwan currently holds the No. 2 spot in Bloomberg's Covid Resilience Ranking, a measure of the best places to be in the Covid-19 era. The continued spread of the coronavirus worldwide, however, has meant Taiwan's authorities have had to remain on their guard. Since the last case of domestic transmission in April, more than 300 cases have been brought in by people returning from overseas.
  14. COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five persons allowed https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-phase-2-of-reopening-to-start-from-jun-19-social-12835758
  15. StreetFight3r

    Possible Cathay and GV merger?

    Just a week after announcing a possible spin off separate listing of its cinema business, entertainment company mm2 Asia is in talks to merge this business, operating mainly under the Cathay brand, with competitor Golden Village. As part of the deal, the parties aim to bring in new investors to help beef up the combined entity, which is going to be the largest cinema operator in town.Mm2 Asia now runs 8 Cathay cinemas in Singapore, and 14 in Malaysia. The potential merger partner, Hong Kong listed Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment (Holdings), runs another 14 cinemas under the Golden Village brand in Singapore. The Hong Kong company, previously known as "Golden Harvest" runs a total of 35 cinemas with 285 screens in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. The deal will need to jump through several hoops: approvals from both mm2 Asia and OSGH shareholders; approval of SGX and Hong Kong Exchange, as well as relevant government authorities, including the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore in relation to anti-trust issues.Under the initial heads of agreement, the parties are still negotiating the financial terms. According to mm2 Asia, the merger terms will be discussed based on the FY2019 operating figures, subjected to mutually agreed adjustments.For FY2019 ended Dec 2019, OSGH's Singapore cinema business generated a turnover of HK$810.3 million, down slightly from HK$822.1 million in the year earlier. Operating profit in the same period was HK$139.8 million, down from HK$150 million. Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has hit the cinema business hard. For the six months ended June 30 this year, Golden Village's Singapore revenue was just HK$137.4 million, due to the circuit breaker measures. It made a loss of HK$16.9 million. For the six months ended June 30 2019, it generated revenue of HK$401 million for its Singapore cinema business, and operating profit of HK$70.6 million. If the merger is completed, the combined entity will be able to enjoy advantageous economies of scale, and provide more financial and operating stability. The company also notes that there has been general disruption to the movie and cinema business, with the advent of content streaming apps and the growth of video content on social media. The merger would result in a stronger platform for the operation of the cinema business. The funds from new investors will also provide the additional working capital for the combined business to cope with operating costs, and strengthen the balance sheet of the combined business.
  16. Disney, ocean park and timsum is possible this year!!😂 https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hong-kong-air-travel-bubble-covid-19-flights-singapore-13513966?cid=FBcna&fbclid=IwAR3wBSd7rjUjLLp_u-BbpkD782Pn8z4Wt4X30TijBjJbEV8EV78SKs5ZsRs
  17. SPH Sees $83.7 Million Loss For 1st Time In 2020, Due To Covid-19 & Fall In Advertising source: https://mustsharenews.com/sph-loss-2020/ SPH Loses $83.7 Million In 2020 As Covid-19 & Advertising Impact Heavily Covid-19 has impacted on most industries, media being no exception. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is no exception, as they saw a net loss for the first time in their history in 2020, at $83.7 million. Just a year ago, they had a net profit of $213.2 million. They released their full-year financial report for 2020 today (13 Oct), which show losses in property valuation, advertising, and more. However, some properties also saw profits, while they remained profitable operationally. Read on to find out about the dollars and cents of SPH in 2020. Losses in investment values, advertising SPH’s various property investments saw losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many of them dealt with retail as well as student accommodation. This includes $196.5 million loss in value for its retail malls, and $31.9 million drop for student accommodation properties in the United Kingdom and Germany. Media also saw losses of $11.4 million before taxes. However, overall revenue saw a loss of 22.8% or $131.7 million. Newspaper advertising revenue continues to fall, this time by $99.1 million or 32.9% from 2019. Also, daily average newspaper digital sales are rising at 52.5%. Among the losses were retrenchment costs of $16.6 million, when 140 employees were let go in Aug. There was also a $122.5 million loss in advertising revenue. Operations see profit despite losses elsewhere Despite the losses elsewhere, operations saw a profit of $110.2 million. This is still a loss in profits from last year though. Also, overall property valuations may have gone down, but they still earned some profits. Profits rose to $327.2 million from acquiring Student Castle student accommodation in the United Kingdom, and Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in Australia. CEO cites advertising, Covid-19 losses SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung pointed to Covid-19 and the “collapse in advertising” as major reasons for the losses. He noted that SPH will keep taking a “prudent and disciplined approach” to liquidity and capital management, so as to survive the Covid-19 storm. That said, there was growth in circulation of 9.4% thanks to their News Tablet digital product, he said. Just 3,808 staff remain as of 31 Aug, compared to 4,085 in 2019. However, there was a mere 1.5% reduction in staff costs. Not an easy time for companies As companies continue to feel the effects of Covid-19, it may well be the time to adapt and find new ways to thrive. SPH has tried this with property, but it suffered heavy losses due to the climate. Media, which is also its primary arm, also had heavy losses, although readership is increasingly digitally. However, its legacy newspaper business will continue to see losses. Hopefully SPH weathers the storm and finds a way to make their losses back.
  18. Singapore restarting cruises: Boost for economy, but not plain sailing source: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/restarting-cruises-boost-for-economy-but-not-plain-sailing It may sound like a good way to help the economy, but it could easily be a disaster waiting to happen. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it will allow pilot "cruises to nowhere" from next month, with safety measures in place. This sounds fine, in theory. It's true that Singapore risks harming its economy if it does not return to some form of normalcy. But when it comes to cruises, the risks may outweigh potential rewards. Consider what cruises entail in the first place. Passengers eat, they take part in activities, and they generally relax outside of their cabins. Even accepting that each cruise ship carries only half the number of passengers it can normally accommodate, it would still host more than 1,000 people over a period of days. One of the participating ships in the pilot project has a normal capacity of more than 3,300 and the other has a maximum capacity of 4,900. And that is without counting the crew. Those on board are supposed to wear masks. But we know that while masks do reduce the transmission rate, they do not completely stop the coronavirus from spreading. And passengers will not be masked during meals. There is also the risk of transmitting the virus through common surfaces passengers touch while they help themselves to the food. And even if the food is served at the counter by crew, there are still many possible contact points. Do you stop passengers from touching walls and handrails when they go for a stroll on deck? Or from talking to one another when taking part in activities? There are just so many possibilities for Covid-19 transmission. One might argue that the same may be said of people in shopping malls or supermarkets. But they do not mingle for several days. Nor are they stuck together in an enclosed space, interacting through on-board activities. People excited or having a good time tend to talk louder, increasing the transmission risk. Expert opinion on the risks posed by such cruises is divided. Professor Dale Fisher, a senior infectious diseases consultant at National University Hospital, and Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School's emerging infectious diseases programme see the move as another step towards normalising life here. "It's not only about prioritising the safest activities; there is a balance with social and economic factors," said Prof Fisher. Prof Ooi agreed that it is important to balance the risks against the livelihoods of many, adding: "It would be the same as any staycation." Dr Asok Kurup, who chairs the Academy of Medicine's Chapter of Infectious Disease Physicians, is more concerned that cruises usually attract older people - who are more vulnerable to Covid-19. He said: "Socialising is another reason older folks go for cruises, (play) mahjong, et cetera. The skew towards more elderly passengers in such settings, in possibly confined environments, means the need to be super vigilant and have very thorough policing of measures." How is that going to happen? The STB said the ships must have "measures to discourage close contact and inter-mingling between groups". Discourage, not prohibit. People may intermingle, gather and chat. Even if rules are laid out, they may be breached. Even if the crew take action against paying passengers, the damage may have been done. The website of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States - the worst-hit country in the world - says: "Cruise ships pose a greater risk of Covid-19 transmission than other settings" as they "are typically more densely populated than cities or most other living situations". It advises Americans to defer cruise travel. Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, is also dead set against such cruises. He asked: "Are cruise ships the hill we want to die on?" He pointed out that there is no guarantee that all passengers are free from Covid-19. A passenger who gets infected the day before boarding "is almost certainly going to test negative on embarking", said Prof Cook. During incubation, the person would test negative - but could turn positive in a day or two, in other words, during the cruise. Should an outbreak result, he warned, "we'll need to be ready to handle the contact tracing and quarantining that would be necessary". The CDC said there is also risk in "crew living and working in close quarters in a partially enclosed environment where social distancing may prove challenging, even with a limited number of people on board". Should a crew member be infected but be asymptomatic, it could "keep the virus circulating from one voyage to the next". The STB says it is allowing such cruises "in line with the calibrated resumption of economic activities in Singapore". Yes, it is important to keep the economy going. And yes, many people here want to go on holiday again. But the risk appears too high. The outcome is uncertain - it could be beneficial or highly damaging. In the best-case scenario, no transmission occurs on board and everyone has a good time. But the worst that could happen - and there is no guarantee that it won't - is a major outbreak that, if spread to the community by asymptomatic carriers, could bring more economic activities to a halt. Surely there are better ways to kick-start the economy?
  19. (Bloomberg) -- Sales of luxury cars in Singapore remain resilient despite the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Business Times reported Friday, citing data from the Land Transport Authority and automakers. Six luxury brands — Aston Martin Holdings, Bentley Motors Ltd., Ferrari NV, Automobili Lamborghini SPA, McLaren Automotive Ltd. and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. — sold a total of 178 cars in the first nine months of 2020 versus 256 units for all of last year, according to the report. After adjusting for Singapore’s partial lockdown, the companies sold about 30 cars a month, up from 21 a month in 2019, the BT said. Still, registrations for the high-end car market are a lagging indicator as orders can be made far in advance of delivery, so data may not always accurately reflect a brand’s current performance, the report said. “Sales have been picking up since reopening and we attribute that to customer confidence coming back,” Bentley’s director for the Asia-Pacific region, Bernd Pichler, told the newspaper. Chong Kah Wei, a general manager at McLaren Singapore, said customer orders continued to accumulate. https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/ferrari-and-bentley-find-buyers-in-singapore-despite-the-pandemic-024059177.html
  20. While I really hesitate to start another thread on COVID-19, but these latest reports may have suggested something we don't know (yet). It might be worthwhile for the relevant authorities to take a closer look and come up with suitable measures to prevent potential outbreak, IF there are further evidences supporting the claim. China's Shenzhen says chicken imported from Brazil tests positive for coronavirus BEIJING: A sample of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen from Brazil has tested positive for coronavirus, the city government said on Thursday (Aug 13), raising fears that contaminated food shipments could cause new outbreaks. Local disease control centres tested a surface sample taken from the chicken wings as part of routine screenings carried out on meat and seafood imports since June, when a new outbreak in Beijing was linked to the city's Xinfadi wholesale food centre. The discovery came a day after traces of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were found on the packaging of frozen shrimp from Ecuador. China has been stepping up screenings at ports amid the concerns over food imports. The Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters said the public needed to take precautions to reduce infection risks from imported meat and seafood. Li Fengqin, who heads a microbiology lab at the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment told reporters in June the possibility of contaminated frozen food causing new infections could not be ruled out. Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, but scientists say there is no strong evidence so far the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can spread via frozen food. Coronavirus found on packaging of Ecuador shrimps in China: State media BEIJING: A city in China's eastern Anhui province found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of shrimps from Ecuador, state media reported on Wednesday (Aug 12), in the latest instance of the virus being detected on imported products. The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city when local authorities carried out a routine inspection, CCTV, China's state television, said. The news broke a day after a port city in eastern Shandong province said it found the virus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood, although it did not say where it originated. Since July, several other Chinese cities have also reported cases, including the port cities of Xiamen and Dalian, prompting China to suspend imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers. China embarked on intensive screening of meat and seafood containers at major ports after a fresh outbreak of the disease was linked to a wholesale food market in Beijing in June. New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new COVID-19 cluster WELLINGTON: New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country plunged back into lockdown on Wednesday (Aug 12). The source of the outbreak has baffled health officials, who said they were confident there was no local transmission of the virus in New Zealand for 102 days and that the family had not travelled overseas. Investigations were zeroing in on the potential the virus was imported by freight. Bloomfield said surface testing was under way in an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family worked. "We are very confident we didn't have any community transmission for a very long period," Bloomfield said during a televised media conference. "We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time."
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 'Is my anxiety normal?': How Covid-19 may affect mental health source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/is-my-anxiety-normal?utm_medium=social&utm_source=telegram&utm_campaign=sttg Friends call extroverted medical student Katelyn Joy Chiu, 22, a sunshine girl. Nothing rains on her parade. But she had "an overwhelming sense of uneasiness" when she started serving her 14-day stay-home notice on March 19, after curtailing a trip to London to visit her sister. She was disappointed about lost opportunities, too, for she had to forgo hard-won clinical attachments in a Tel Aviv hospital, a Papua New Guinea medical ship and also stints in Singapore from April to June. Anxiety heightened when more countries went into lockdown and infections grew exponentially, the bad news flooding her social media. "It became very scary. It felt like Covid-19 was in my bedroom," she recounts. "Covid-19 is a vicious annoyance that disregards everything." To turn things around, she made a to-do list from day one. She spent time doing videos of cover songs, creating an Instagram Live worship-and-sharing hour with a Christian friend that 400 people viewed, and working on her palliative care academic project at home. "I made my bed to kick-start my day, so there was no temptation to lounge in bed or take afternoon naps." Importantly, she accepted the situation and realised she was privileged. The minute her stifling confinement ended on April 2, Miss Chiu and her boyfriend took a midnight drive to West Coast Park and strolled, then drove to East Coast Park and walked again, savouring the fresh air. FEELING TEARY Like Ms Chiu, people with no underlying mental health issues may feel overwhelmed during the pandemic and wonder why they are teary or heavy-hearted. They are experiencing Covid-19 anxiety, a prolonged time of heightened anxiety and even loss, experts say. Ms Elysia Tan, senior counsellor at Touch Integrated Family Group, which serves families, children, youth and people who require mental health support, says: "In Singapore, which like the other major cities globally is highly efficient and enjoys much stability, people may find themselves out of their comfort zone." Also, people are social beings and may not be accustomed to social distancing from loved ones, friends and colleagues, she adds. TOTAL DISRUPTION So this is a vastly altered state of life that Singaporeans are trying to adapt to. "Covid-19 is a total disruption," says Ms Sarah Poh, mental health counsellor and founder of The Therapy Platform, a therapy booking platform. American grief expert David Kessler articulated the sadness now engulfing people worldwide: "The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection." In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, he said: "This is hitting us and we're grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air." Still, some grief or anxiety is normal and can even quicken a sense of purpose. "People who have been feeling teary or heavy-hearted sometimes could well be having a normal response to the pandemic,'' Dr Goh notes. Normal anxiety does not paralyse a person, experts say. But if the anxiety is recurrent, overwhelming, causes mood changes like irritability, and even triggers physical symptoms such as insomnia, indigestion and body aches, it may be time to seek professional attention, they counsel. FACING FAMILY 24/7 Meanwhile, mental healthcare professionals express concern about families under stress, including the functional households. Dr Goh says children are experiencing a lot of stress from the abrupt cessation of school and, for now, there are teething issues with home learning. "It is important to note that our anxiety can be 'contagious' for the little ones," he emphasises. Children do best when they have a good routine, and get to play, he adds. "You may wish to consider simulating the school routine of having recess and lunch time between home learning. Do remember to have some play time with your children. When was the last time you did that?" In compact Singapore homes, conflict over shared space can arise. Ms Poh of The Therapy Platform notes that in space-scarce Singapore, people face their families 24/7. This intensifies during the circuit breaker month. "The key here is to have respect and set boundaries over what is private space and what is communal space. Without good conversation around space use, tension can rise quickly within the family,'' she says. "Actually, the conversation will be more about person-to-person values, then about actual size of space. Instead of waiting for conflict to happen, have a planned conversation by the 'leaders', who are usually the parents." People of every temperament have to manage, including chirpy extroverts. Extroverts, who draw energy from social interaction, may have a hard time with diminished connection. "Instead of looking to the outside now, perhaps now is the golden opportunity for us to nurture our inner life. Having excess time being by ourselves, we have to learn to enjoy our own company,'' says Ms Poh. Other expert tips encompass being aware of the roots of your anxiety, living in the present and limiting the virtual life. Ms Christine Wong, a psycho-traumatology practitioner, mentions a client who had a never-experienced level of Covid-19 anxiety. "She said she was worried about employment, but her job was stable." After delving into the situation, the client, a professional in her 40s, understood that her anxiety stemmed from around the age of six when her father went bankrupt after his business failed. In the middle of the night, the family had to move. Her mother cried in front of the children. "If we understand what's happening, it gives us huge clarity,'' says Ms Wong. "It's half the battle won." Dr Adrian Wang, a psychiatrist and counsellor who practises at Gleneagles Medical Centre, placed the pandemic in perspective. "The virus is a finite thing,'' he said at a Web In Travel webinar last month on managing Covid-19 fear and anxiety. "Eventually this storm will pass. It's not a never-ending pattern of gloom and doom."
  24. Has anyone received Scoot notifications about Covid test requirements for flights to China? I received like 20 emails for various booking references which of course I did not made. Maybe their system hacked....
  25. Hi all! I've been summoned by my boss to start a makan thread just for this special month (previous thread was too long). Continue your makan thread here. This will be a special thread dedicated for this unprecedented month. Show us your cooking skills and your anyhow cook anyhow eat spirit. Remember it's not about sticking to your routine and insisting on taking away at your favorite weekend eateries. It's about making small little personal sacrifices in this one month so that we can resume normalcy as much as possible next month. Break the chain of transmission now so we don't have to extend this. Please reduce the number of times you're heading out and opt to cook or order deliveries instead. Let's also be positive and keep eating. Hahaha. I'm going to start the ball rolling with what I've eaten for the past two days of WFH! Day 1 Day 2 Please wear a surgical mask if you're heading out even if it's for a short while!
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