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Daily Archives: May 16, 2021

COVID-19: Labuan’s Layang-layangan cluster enters fifth generation

— The Layang-Layangan COVID-19 cluster has reached its fifth generation, turning the duty-free island into a red zone today, said Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari.

“Labuan has been declared a COVID-19 red zone, after having recorded over 40 cases in the past 14 days.

“We have done our level best to contain the spread, but unfortunately, certain groups of people chose to ignore the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and had family gatherings on the beach, birthday celebration in a food court,” he told Bernama.

He said the Layang-Layangan cluster, which emerged on May 5, originated from seven Indian nationals and five Malaysians who arrived at the island from the Peninsula via Labuan Airport early this month.

It has 45 cases as of today, including two cases detected in Kuala Lumpur, two in Selangor and one case in Kedah.

Dr Ismuni said the cluster had infected a number of locals, including primary school pupils, the local community and others in an Indian temple.

He said the withholding of information by some COVID-19 positive patients or close contacts had led to the spike in cases.

“We have to redouble our efforts to trace the close contacts of positive patients to the fifth generation, to the extent of having to liaise with private clinics to contain the spread.

“As the Layang-Layangan cluster has spread to schools, a temple and the local community, it is important for the people to continue to adhere to the SOPs. (Please) avoid large crowds and crowded places during a viral pandemic,” he said.

Labuan has cumulative infections of 2,517 with one active cluster of Layang-Layangan and 14 deaths as of today.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID: 50,000 completed vaccine jabs, 1,800 no-shows for second phase in Kelantan

A total of 50,000 individuals in Kelantan, including frontliners, have completed their two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination shots for the first and second phases of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme so far.

Kelantan state health department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said, however, 1,800 out of 9,000 vaccine recipients who registered for the second phase, involving the elderly and at risk categories, failed to show up for their scheduled appointments.

“We hope they will inform us earlier if they cannot make the scheduled appointment for their vaccinations so as to avoid wastage.

“If we are informed early, we can prepare a standby list of recipients for vaccination as we have a waiting list for the same category,” he told reporters after visiting the COVID-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre at Gelanggan Seni here today. Also present was Kelantan COVID-19 centre director Dr Mohd Azman Yacob.

Regarding a study by the Health Ministry showing that two per cent of the entire Kelantan population would reject vaccination, Dr Zaini explained that some rejected it because they were concerned about the vaccine’s halal status.

“In addition, they feel that the vaccine would not benefit them and they were also influenced by allegations that have gone viral on social media about the vaccines’ side effects,” he said.

Dr Zaini added that the Gelanggang Seni centre was expected to be fully operational tomorrow afternoon and, if needed, might be turned into a field hospital depending on the current situation.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

MAF-MOH to enhance cooperation against third wave of COVID-19

The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will be stepping cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the fight against the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, said MAF chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang.

It will encompass current logistic facilities in transporting medical aid and health equipment using MAF assets according to needs especially in air transport involving the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

“This is MAF’s commitment in its secondary duties to ensure the well-being of the people is always given priority,” he said.

He told reporters during a short visit to the MAF field hospital in Kapit at Dewan Masyarakat Melayu here today.

According to him, the establishment of field hospitals at other locations is subject to current needs and capacity provided by the Health Service Division of MAF.

On the field hospital in Kapit which was set up on May 6, he said the hospital has 40 beds which could be expanded up to 100 beds if the situation warrants it.

The hospital set up by the First Medical Battalion based in Muara Tuang Camp, Kota Samarahan with the cooperation of Sarawak Health Department and Kapit Hospital, is complete with patient ward, X-ray, pharmacy and an emergency room.

With the additional facilities, Kapit Hospital could focus on COVID-19 treatment with sufficient beds for pandemic patients and cases which are more serious.

Since it began operation on May 10, the field hospital had received seven patients and one was allowed to return home.

“At the moment, surgery is not carried out in the field hospital but its capability could be upgraded with an operation theatre and an intensive care unit if the need arises,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Various parties firmly back govt’s stand on Palestine issue

Various parties and organisations today expressed strong support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s address yesterday and the government’s stance for Israel’s atrocities to be stopped immediately.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) described the prime minister’s message yesterday on various regional aid and efforts as proof of Malaysia’s determination to want thorough solutions and justice for the Palestinian people.

PN, in a statement today, also called and urged leaders of countries around the world to immediately condemn the tyranny and violence perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinians who continue to be oppressed and thrown out from their homeland. The ethnic cleansing and apartheid system practised by the Zionist regime must be stopped immediately,” the statement read.

PN also called on all Malaysians to show solidarity with the Palestinians and pray that they are given patience, help and victory in efforts to preserve their dignity and rights, besides also making contributions through the #Aid4Palestine campaign or through other legitimate channels.

The Dewan Negara People’s Well-being Caucus Committee, meanwhile, called on all Malaysians, including non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies and political parties to unite in condemning Israel’s despicable actions against the Palestinian people.

Its chairman, Senator Datuk Razali Idris in a statement today, said the caucus is in line with the principled stand of the Malaysian government which has consistently given strong political, economic and moral support to Palestine and the struggles of its people.

“… the best solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can only be reached through negotiations to ensure lasting regional peace, security and stability,” he said.

The Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia (PPMM) also expressed full support for the government’s efforts in ensuring the rights and struggles of the Palestinian people over the decades in defending the third holiest city in Islam.

PPMM deputy president Muhamad Hisham Marzuki in a statement expressed his appreciation to the government which through the Prime Minister’s special address yesterday strengthened its stand on the struggles of the Palestinian people by providing diplomatic, logistical and moral support.

The Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) called on youths in the country to contribute in their respective capacities such as by praying, donating, sharing information and through online activism, including using TikTok to stop violence and defend humanity in Palestine.

Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia, a synergy partner of MBM, has launched the #MyAqsaDefender campaign for the purpose of raising immediate cash aid for economic development and education with a target of RM10 million.

“MBM as a stakeholder for youths would like to call on Malaysians across racial and religious boundaries to be aware of current global issues,” the statement read.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID: Penang govt requests RT-PCT test approval for manufacturing sector

— The Penang government has requested the federal government to immediately approve the RT-PCR COVID-19 screening test, which uses saliva samples, for manufacturing sector workers in the state.

Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow, said that the implementation of the RT-PCR test, through the deep throat saliva (DTS) method, was for mass screening among manufacturing sector workers in the state.

“The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Penang branch, submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Health (MOH) on May 7.

“It is appropriate that it be approved because the relevant method was also proposed by the Health director-general, at the special session of the National Security Council on COVID-19 management, chaired by the Prime Minister on May 10,” he said in a statement today.

Chow said that, based on the current trend of cases recorded in Penang, it was also appropriate for the sourcing of human resources from the private sector or other related fields to be intensified, especially in speeding up the tracking of contacts and cases in the field.

“Apart from immediately isolating COVID-19 positive patients, the Penang Health Department also needs to take drastic action by providing necessary training to those selected, so that the capacity of existing medical facilities is not completely paralysed,” he said.

Penang also recorded a drop in new COVID-19 cases today, at 187, compared with 338 cases reported yesterday.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Bunut Susu EMCO: 235 individuals test positive after completion of first screening

— A total of 235 people in three villages Mukim Bunut Susu in Pasir Mas that were placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) tested positive after the completion of the first COVID-19 screening last week.

Kelantan State Health Department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said that, as of today, 1,500 residents from Kampung Paya Ular, Kampung Tualang and Kampung Bechah Palas had undergone the screening tests.

“From the first screening tests, 93 residents in Kampung Paya Ular tested positive for COVID-19, while Kampung Tualang has 69 positive cases and Kampung Bechah Palas has 73 cases,” he told reporters after carrying out an observation of the COVID-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) in Gelanggan Seni here today. Also present was Kelantan COVID-19 centre director Dr Mohd Azman Yacob.

The government had earlier place the three villages under the EMCO from May 9-22 following a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Dr Zaini also thanked the state government for allocating over RM200,000 to assist in preparing the Gelanggan Seni PKRC, which can accommodate 140 patients at any one time.

“Apart from that, we also wish to thank Yayasan Noor Al-Syakur (YANAS) for its contribution of clinical equipment as well as the allocation from the Ministry of Health for this PKRC,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

STAR lodges police reports over slanderous ‘support Israel’ FB post

Five police reports have been lodged by Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) today against a Facebook user who uploaded an image accusing party leaders of supporting Israel.

STAR Youth Chief Rizal Johari said the party would also lodge a complaint with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) against the user. The uploaded image went viral yesterday.

“The individual is not a STAR member and has often made posts on social media particularly Facebook, allegedly representing STAR in order to confuse the public…we have been monitoring his page but we have always valued other people’s rights to express themselves even if it is detrimental to our cause.

“However, this person has crossed the line this time when he posted the libelous image and accused STAR of endorsing violence, this is unacceptable and the authorities must take action,” he said in a statement here today.

The image was uploaded by an individual using a fake account yesterday at 6:30 pm and the user has also uploaded the same image in several of his Facebook accounts under the same name.

Rizal said other than the five police reports, STAR representatives from several other divisions will also lodge similar police reports against the user.

Meanwhile, he urged STAR supporters to remain calm and not be easily swayed by statements that do not come from the party.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency