Sunday, January 26, 2020


A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinus, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous.
Some types of them are serious, though. About 858 people have died from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and then in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In April 2014, the first American was hospitalized for MERS in Indiana and another case was reported in Florida. Both had just returned from Saudi Arabia. In May 2015, there was an outbreak of MERS in Korea, which was the largest outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2003, 774 people died from a severe acurate respiratory syndrome  (sars) outbreak. As of 2015, there were no further reports of cases of SARS. MERS and SARS are types of coronaviruses.
But in early January 2020, the World Health Organization identified a new type: 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. By late January, there were 300 confirmed cases in China and a death count that was still in the single digits, but rising. And despite airport screenings, a traveler had brought the first case to the U.S.
Often a coronavirus causes upper respiratory infection symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat. You can treat them with rest and over-the-counter medication. The coronavirus can also cause middle ear infections in children.
Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s, but we don't know where they come from. They get their name from their crown-like shape. Sometimes, but not often, a coronavirus can infect both animals and humans.
Most coronaviruses spread the same way other cold-causing viruses do: through infected people coughing and sneezing , by touching an infected person's hands or face, or by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.
Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child. In the United States, coronaviruses are more common in the fall and winter, but anyone can come down with a coronavirus infection at any time.

Common Symptoms of Coronavirus

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.
You could get lab tests, including nose and throat cultures and blood work, to find out whether your cold was caused by a coronavirus, but there's no reason to. The test results wouldn't change how you treat your symptoms, which typically go away in a few days.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems.

What to Do About Coronavirus

There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common acid:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are infected.
You treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold:
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids.
  • Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. But don't give asprin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.
A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.
Even when a coronavirus causes MERS or SARS in other countries, the kind of coronavirus infection common in the U.S. isn't a serious threat for an otherwise healthy adult. If you get sick, treat your symptoms and contact a doctor if they get worse or don't go away. 

According to

Wuhan virus: Stop spreading fake news on prisoner dying, says Health Ministry

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has debunked a viral message that claimed a prisoner had died from the coronavirus after eating a mandarin orange.
“There has been a fake message that has been spreading on WhatsApp – we urge everyone to not spread or believe such news, ” it said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.

The Ministry also urged members of the public to follow the latest news shared during a press conference earlier Saturday (Jan 25).
During said press conference, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (pic) said that three China nationals from Wuhan who had travelled from Singapore to Johor have been confirmed as the country's first patients of the coronavirus.
The three patients have been identified as family members of a 66-year-old patient who had tested positive for the virus in Singapore on Jan 22.
The previously unknown 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has killed 41 people and spread around the world.
China has expanded travel bans in the central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, now affecting 18 cities.
Confirmed infections surged to 1,287, up from 830 reported 24 hours earlier.
Most of the deaths and overall cases have been in Hubei.


Wuhan virus: Health Ministry to discuss banning Chinese nationals from entering country

A family using masks at the Senai International Airport following the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

IPOH: The Health Ministry will be discussing the proposal to stop Chinese nationals from entering the country due to the current Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nC0V) outbreak, says Dr Lee Boon Chye.
The Deputy Health Minister said, a meeting has been arranged with related parties including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the head of Malaysia’s National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

“While we do know that some cities in China are currently on ‘lockdown’ and it may affect the number of tourists coming from the country, a meeting has been arranged to determine what is the best next action.
“We would like to advise all Malaysians to not visit China for at least two weeks time as the ministry is currently monitoring the condition in China,” he told reporters after attending the Chinese New Year celebration held by the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Weil Hotel on Sunday (Jan 26).
It was reported earlier that parents and their toddler who dodged quarantined after the child was suspected of being infected with the coronavirus, had been detained at the Senai International Airport.
The Health Ministry has also confirmed another case of the infection in Malaysia making it the fourth in the country so far. The latest case, which had no connections with the previous three cases, involved a 40-year-old man from Wuhan, China who came to Johor Baru on Jan 22 via a bus from Singapore together with 17 other tourists from China.
The man has been referred to the Hospital Sultanah Aminah’s Infectious Diseases Medical Team in Johor Baru.
Lee advised the public to avoid public places as well as to take care of their hygiene.
“Those who visited China during these few weeks are advised to seek medical attention should they have any symptoms.
“We have set at least 26 hospitals across the country that will be able to provide proper medical assistance including special treatment for the infections.
“Try to stay away from crowded venues, wash your hands constantly and wear facial masks,” he said.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Wuhan wrap: China faces ‘grave situation’ as virus spread accelerates

Medical staff members wearing protective clothing to help stop the spread of a deadly virus that began in the city, arrive with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan on January 25,2020. (Photo by Hector Retamal/ AFP)

BEIJING (Reuters): President Xi Jinping said China was facing a “grave situation” as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 41, overshadowing celebrations of the Lunar New Year that began on Saturday.
With more than 1,400 people infected worldwide, most of them in China, Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China.
Taiwan, Nepal, and the United States.
In Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, officials appealed for masks and protective suits.
“We are steadily pushing forward the disease control and prevention... But right now we are facing an extremely severe public health crisis, ” Hu Yinghai, deputy director-general of the Civil Affairs Department, told a news briefing.
Vehicles carrying emergency supplies and medical staff for Wuhan would be exempted from tolls and given traffic priority, China's transportation ministry said on Saturday.
Wuhan said it would ban non-essential vehicles from its downtown starting Sunday, further paralysing a city of 11 million that has been on virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town.
Authorities have since imposed transport restrictions on nearly all of Hubei province, which has a population of 59 million.
The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are still many unknowns surrounding it, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.
Australia confirmed its first four cases in two different cities on Saturday, and the country's chief health official said he expected more cases as Australia is a popular destination for Chinese tourists.
State-run China Global Television Network reported on Saturday that a doctor who had been treating patients in Wuhan, 62-year-old Liang Wudong, had died from the virus.
It was not immediately clear if his death was already counted in the official toll of 41, of which 39 were in the central province of Hubei, where Wuhan is located.
US coffee chain Starbucks said it was closing all its outlets in Hubei province for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, following a similar move by McDonald's in five Hubei cities.
Workers in white protective suits checked temperatures of passengers entering the subway at Beijing's central railway station on Saturday, while some train services in the eastern Yangtze River Delta region were suspended, the local railway operator said.
State-owned CCTV, citing an announcement from China's tourism industry association, said the country would halt all group tours, both at home and abroad, from Jan 27.
There are fears transmission could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during the Lunar New Year holiday, although many have cancelled their plans.
Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, though some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of such screenings.
The World Health Organisation this week stopped short of calling the outbreak a global health emergency.
A report by infectious disease specialists at Imperial College, London on Saturday said that despite this, the epidemic “represents a clear and ongoing global health threat”, adding: “It is uncertain at the current time whether it is possible to contain the continuing epidemic within China.”
While China has called for transparency in managing the crisis, after cover-up of the 2002/2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) spread, officials in Wuhan have be criticised for their handling of the current outbreak.
In rare public dissent, a senior journalist at a Hubei newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party called on Friday for an “immediate” change of leadership in Wuhan on the Twitter-like Weibo. The post was later removed.
Hubei province, where authorities are rushing to build a 1,000 bed hospital in six days to treat patients, announced on Saturday that there were 658 patients affected by the virus in treatment, 57 of whom were critically ill.
At a normally festive time of year in China, Sanya, a popular resort destination on the southern island of Hainan, announced that it was shutting all tourist sites. The island's capital city, Haikou, said visitors from Wuhan would be placed under 14-day quarantine in a hotel.
Shanghai Disneyland was closed from Saturday. Beijing's Lama Temple, where people traditionally make offerings for the new year, has also closed, as have some other temples.


Malaysia reports fourth confirmed case of Wuhan virus

 photo of a general view of the Causeway from Singapore to Johor Bahru. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has confirmed another case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection in the country, the fourth so far.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said the case did not have any connection to the three other cases reported earlier.

The latest case involves a 40-year-old man from Wuhan, China. He came to Johor Baru on Jan 22 via a bus from Singapore, together with 17 other tourists from China.

“The man started exhibiting signs of a fever on Jan 23 and the next day he sought treatment at a private hospital there, ” he said in a statement on Saturday (Jan 25).

He said the man was referred to Hospital Sultanah Aminah’s Infectious Disease Medical Team in Johor Baru.

“Tests to trace and verify the case have been sent to the Medical Research Institute.
“On Saturday, the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) received a report that the sample taken from the man was positive for 2019-nCoV, ” Dr Noor Hisham said.

He added that the man was still suffering from fever and a cough, but was otherwise in a stable condition.

“The State Health Department immediately went to work to track down the 17 others in the tour group to administer health checks.
“Initial screenings revealed none of them have any symptoms of the virus.

“Clinical samples have been taken from them for 2019-nCoV tests and verification at the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory, ” he said, adding that all of the 17 have been placed under observation and quarantine orders while awaiting the test results.

The three earlier cases were also China nationals from Wuhan, family members of the 66-year-old Chinese patient confirmed in Singapore recently.
The victims were the 65-year-old wife of the patient in Singapore, and their two grandchildren aged two and 11 years old.

The patients were known to had been part of a group of 10 that had travelled to Singapore from Guangzhou on Jan 20.
While in Singapore, the 66-year-old man and his son were confirmed to have the virus while the rest showed no signs.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020


MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte has banned another United States lawmaker from entering the Philippines.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed yesterday that Duterte had banned Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts for calling for the release of Sen Leila de Lima, and for supporting the entry ban to the United States of Filipino officials believed to have had a hand in her detention.

Yes, same reason for banning Durbin and Leahy. Truth be told, we do not have to state any ground to ban a foreign national entry in the Philippines.
“That is an exercise of sovereign right, ” Panelo told in a text message.

Duterte had earlier ordered the Bureau of Immigration to deny US Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy entry to the Philippines for pushing for the ban of Filipino officials who were allegedly behind de Lima’s detention.

De Lima has been detained at the custodial centre of the Philippine National Police in Quezon City since 2017 due to alleged drug charges.

In December, President Donald Trump signed into law the US government’s US$1.4 trillion (RM5.7 trillion) 2020 budget, which included a provision allowing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to bar Philippine officials from entering the United States if he had “credible information” that they were involved in the “wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima.

If the United States enforced the ban, Panelo said the Philippines would require Americans to secure visas before entering the country. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN.


I6ft python weighing 80kg caught in mersing

A 5m-long python weighing 80kg was caught by the Civil Defence Force (APM) in Kampung Air Papan Tengah here on Wednesday (Jan 1).

Mersing district APM officer, Captain (PA) Nurnajibah Abdullah, said the department received a call from the public at 11.42pm on the discovery of the reptile.

He said upon arrival, they found the snake, which had just swallowed the complainant's chicken, on the roof of a goat pen.

"Three APM personnel took about 20 minutes to catch the snake which had wrapped itself around the wooden pillar of the pen.

"The snake is currently at the APM district operations control centre and will be handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action, ” he told Bernama on Thursday (Jan 2


Smoking ban but straw ban not taking off

KUALA LUMPUR: While many eatery owners are taking the smoking ban seriously, adherence to the plastic straw ban is still lacking in many food outlets.

Checks by The Star at several locations in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya found that restaurants and eateries have their no-smoking signs displayed prominently.

No smokers were found puffing away near the eateries and no ashtrays were found on the restaurant tables.
A man who worked in an economy rice shop said his manager had told him not to smoke near the restaurant.

“He made sure that I lit up a distance away, ” he said.
It was a different story when it came to straws.
Many patrons at the food outlets were seen to be still using straws when enjoying their beverages.
A woman who worked in a hawker centre said while there had been no smokers there, people’s attitude towards the plastic straw ban had not yet changed.

She related how a customer had once even used up multiple straws just for his one drink.
“I personally support protecting the environment – ever since the 1990s.
“I have cut down on the use of straws and plastic bags.

“However, it’s hard for us when the customers still expect straws. Some people’s mindsets are still fixed, ” she said.

Another man who owned a restaurant brought up the issue of the cost of switching to paper straws.
“A paper straw would cost me nine sen each whereas a plastic straw would only cost me one to two sen each.

“We as restaurant owners are trying to cut down our use of plastic but it will take some time to adjust, ” he said.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said the smoking ban was a welcome move as the restaurants’ environment would be friendlier for families and children.

He said when the ban was first introduced last year, business at eateries had suffered initially.
He, however, said that there were still errant smokers who flouted the law by smoking in the restrooms of the restaurants.

“We put up no-smoking stickers at the toilets but a few of them still do it – so we don’t know how to handle that sometimes, ” he added.



JOHOR BARU: A total of 25 notices have been issued to smokers throughout Johor who were caught puffing at eateries on the first day of the enforcement of the smoking ban.

Johor Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar said that five more notices were issued to restaurant owners for failing to put up the "no-smoking" signs while one notice was issued for allowing customer to smoke on the premises.

The Johor Health Department began its enforcement operation on the first day of 2020, after the one year period to raise awareness about the smoking ban.

"The operation involves 183 enforcement officers of the Department and is being conducted simultaneously in all districts in Johor," he said in a statement released on Wednesday (Jan 1)
He added that some 196 premises were visited during the first day of the operation.
"Those receiving the notices were given two months to pay the RM250 compound at any nearby District Health Office.

"We urge all parties to give their fullest cooperation and abide by the rules outlined," he said.




KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 87 China nationals were detained for suspected involvement in an online investment scam following a raid in Puchong, marking the first day of the big-sweep against illegals nationwide.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said simultaneous operations against illegals are being conducted around the country following the conclusion of the Back For Good (B4G) repatriation programme on Dec 31.

On the Puchong raid, he said those detained – 79 men and eight women – were rounded up after raids were conducted on five residential and nine office units at a building in Puchong yesterday.
“We also seized six PCs, 33 laptops and 203 mobile phones from the various premises.

“The suspects were detained as they are believed to be running an investment scam.
“At the time of the raids, the computer monitors were showing various investment schemes, including forex and cryptocurrency, ” he told a press conference yesterday.
The units raided were also believed to have been used as training centres for syndicate members, he added.

“We discovered various scripts and manuals for the members to follow. They are trained on how to approach customers through online applications, ” Khairul said.
Checks on the suspects’ online conversation showed that there were customers who were cheated and suffered losses from the investment schemes offered by the syndicate, he added.
The syndicate, according to Khairul, had changed its modus operandi by renting residential units instead of renting a big commercial building, in an attempt to evade detection.

“The units were equipped with Internet access.
“We also received information that a particular syndicate had purchased RM24,000 worth of SIM cards recently, ” he said.
The suspects, who did not have any personal travel documents, aged between 21 and 36, will be detained at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot for 14 days pending further investigation, he added.
The operation was conducted with the cooperation of other agencies including the police, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and Bank Negara.

On another matter, Khairul said a total of 190,471 illegal immigrants have registered for the B4G programme.
“So far, 165,041 illegals have returned to their home countries.
“The rest will return based on their respective flight schedules, ” he said.
For this year, one of the department’s top targets is detaining at least 70,000 illegal immigrants, he added.

“We hope to improve our level of service, especially for counters located at the country’s entry points. We hope to increase our efficiency in terms of management through the 100% e-payment initiative, which is expected to start in June as well as the National Integrated Immigration System, ” said Khairul.


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