Talks with US futile, says Iran Parliament speaker

IRAN’S Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said any negotiations with the United States would be “futile” as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber today. 

Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker on Thursday after February elections that swung the balance in the legislature towards ultra-conservatives.

Chinese media use race clashes to criticise US over HK

CHINESE state media took aim at the US government over the weekend as many American cities were gripped by raging protests and clashes, comparing the unrest with the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Beijing has long been infuriated by criticism from Western capitals, especially Washington, over its handling of the pro-democracy protests that shook Hong Kong last year.

Chinese Covid-19 vaccine expected to begin mass output this year

BEIJING: A front-running Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed in China is expected to be available as soon as the end of this year, according to a report published in the official WeChat account of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

The vaccine, jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group Co, has completed phase II testing and may be ready for the market at the end of this year or early next year, said the report.

The production line for the vaccine will be fully disinfected and closed in preparation for output to start Saturday and will have a full manufacturing capacity of 100 million-120 million vaccines each year.

Drugmakers are racing to develop a cure for the contagion that has so far killed at least 365,000 people.

More than 100 vaccines for the virus are being developed globally, but only a handful have made it to the crucial and final human clinical trial stage, with Chinese scientists leading the way.

In total, five vaccines developed by Chinese companies are being tested on humans, the most in any country.

Beijing has mobilised its health authorities, drug regulators and research institutes to work around the clock with local companies to come up with the world’s first successful one for Covid-19.

President Xi Jinping has promised to share any successful vaccine globally, but Chinese companies still face challenges.

Phase III testing needs to be done in a place where the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly, and China’s cases have dwindled to a handful each day.

Also, an effective vaccine needs massive production capabilities in order to meet global distribution demands.

The vaccine candidate from Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group employs a killed version of the novel coronavirus that can still trigger an immune response.

Such inactivated vaccines have been developed for many years to protect populations from diseases including polio and hepatitis.

While inactivated vaccines may be slower to develop initially, their familiar path to mass production might allow them to overtake shots made by newer, cutting-edge approaches.

Click here for our live update of the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.

9,048 bot, kapal, mencurigakan dikesan sepanjang tempoh sekatan, kata APMM

 

Susulan penularan wabak Covid-19, APMM memperketatkan kawalan maritim dan mengambil pendekatan mengusir terus pendatang asing yang dikesan membolosi perairan negara. (Gambar Bernama)

PELABUHAN KLANG: Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM) mengesan 9,048 kapal dan bot dalam keadaan mencurigakan di perairan negara sepanjang pelaksanaan perintah kawalan pergerakan (PKP) dan perintah kawalan pergerakan bersyarat (PKPB) bermula 18 Mac hingga 13 Mei lepas.

Ketua Pengarah APMM Mohd Zubil Mat Som berkata kira-kira 20% daripada jumlah bot dan kapal berkenaan berjaya dipintas pihaknya dan ia biasanya dikesan keluar menjalankan “aktiviti” ketika air pasang atau pada waktu malam bagi mengaburi mata pihak berkuasa.

“Taktik mereka ini dengan anggapan APMM tidak memantau atau melakukan operasi pada waktu tersebut jadi kononnya inilah masa mereka mahu cuba bolos (memasuki perairan negara).

“Tapi kita sebenarnya lebih bersedia kerana pemantauan perairan negara dilakukan 24 jam melalui kapal induk yang dilengkapi bot pemintas dan sistem pengesanan radar, iaitu Sistem Awasan Laut (Swasa),” katanya kepada pemberita di sini, hari ini.

Ketua pengarah APMM Mohd Zubil Mat Som.

Mohd Zubil ditemui ketika mengiringi ketua setiausaha Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Jamil Rakon meninjau kesiapsiagaan aset APMM, Kapal Maritim (KM) Pekan yang berlabuh kira-kira 20 batu nautika di perairan Selangor dari jeti Markas Operasi Pasukan Polis Marin Pelabuhan Klang.

KM Pekan yang berpangkalan di APMM Pahang didatangkan khas ke perairan Selat Melaka dan bertindak selaku kapal induk bagi memantapkan lagi usaha membanteras jenayah rentas sempadan selain mengekang penularan wabak Covid-19 oleh pendatang asing dalam pelaksanaan Op Benteng.

Mohd Zubil berkata, susulan penularan wabak Covid-19 di seluruh dunia ketika ini, APMM memperketatkan kawalan maritim dan mengambil pendekatan mengusir terus pendatang asing yang dikesan membolosi sempadan perairan negara daripada menahan mereka.

“Tindakan ini bagi mengelakkan anggota dan pegawai APMM berhadapan risiko dijangkiti Covid-19 kerana kita tidak tahu dari mana pendatang asing itu datang dan adakah mereka bebas jangkitan wabak.

“Sepanjang operasi dalam tempoh PKP dan PKPB ini, tidak ada lagi tindakan diambil ke atas mana-mana bot mencurigakan yang membawa masuk pendatang asing, cuma ada bot dikesan hendak membawa keluar warga asing tanpa izin dan kita terus usir,” katanya.

Dr Noor Hisham: Undocumented migrants to be sent to MAEPS after escape attempt from Sungai Buloh Hospital


A general view of the low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang April 3, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A general view of the low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang April 3, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 — The Health Ministry has decided to retransfer all 26 undocumented foreigners positive with Covid-19 from Sungai Buloh Hospital back to the temporary treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) after one of them attempted to escape custody.

Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this meant, from now on, only Malaysians and documented foreign workers will be placed in the hospital.

“The illegal immigrants will now be placed at MAEPS, and hopefully, by doing so, we can improve the security situation. There, they will be provided with good treatment for them to head down the road to recovery,” he said during his daily Covid-19 press briefing today.

Dr Noor Hisham said that ordinarily when an undocumented worker is admitted for treatment at the hospital, they are usually handcuffed and accompanied by an Immigration Department officer.

“Somehow, the 26-year-old Bangladeshi managed to escape this morning. The nurses were doing their rounds when they realised he was missing.

“Subsequently, we alerted the police, Immigration Department and others. Thankfully, we managed to locate the individual, apprehend him and bring him back to the ward,” he said.

Similarly, the director-general said the ministry is looking into all possible angles to trace the origins of the Covid-19 cluster which emerged at the Immigration Department’s detention centres in Bukit Jalil and Semenyih.

“In terms of where the infection is coming from, it is possible that it could be derived from new detainees coming into the centre.

“Another possibility is it could be due to one of the staff such as a cleaner or caterer, who comes in and inadvertently infects the detainees.

“The main drive is to prevent such infections from occurring again. So from now on, we ensure that new detainees will be screened, and only allowed into the centres once they are deemed negative of Covid-19,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

He added the ministry is also seeking to improve both detention centres and prisons where overcrowding commonly occurs, by looking into their respective operating procedures and to address the issue of compliance of the standard operating procedures among detainees and inmates.

Covid-19: Restaurant operators in Malaysia can be fined over SOP breach, says Dr Noor Hisham


A sign on social distancing is seen at Restoran Nasi Kandar Kayu, Jalan Todak, Penang on May 5, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A sign on social distancing is seen at Restoran Nasi Kandar Kayu, Jalan Todak, Penang on May 5, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 — Restaurant operators found to be in violation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the National Security Council (MKN) could face a maximum fine of RM1,000 under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the SOP was issued as a clear guideline for operators to adhere to during the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

“The flexibility is given to restaurants to operate. So we hope they comply with the SOP.

“If the Ministry of Health (MOH) conducts patrols and finds that some restaurant operators are in violation of the SOP, we will either issue a warning or take action under Act 342,” he said during the daily Covid-19 press conference here, today.

Dr Noor Hisham was asked to comment on reports of some restaurant operators who did not restrict the number of patrons visiting their premises, besides ignoring social distancing measures. — Bernama

France charges 13 over migrant deaths in UK

THIRTEEN suspects arrested by French police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated lorry in Britain have been charged with human trafficking, said a judicial source today.

Six of the group – mainly Vietnamese and French nationals – were held on Tuesday in the Paris region, and have also been charged with manslaughter after the alleged key figure in a ring of smugglers was caught in Germany.

Efforts taken to ensure safety of Sabah people amid Covid-19 pandemic, not to curb freedom, says CM


Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaks during a press conference in Kota Kinabalu May 6, 2020. — Bernama pic
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaks during a press conference in Kota Kinabalu May 6, 2020. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, May 29 — The various efforts taken by the state government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah were not meant to limit the freedom of the people in celebrating any festivals, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Instead, he said, those measures were taken to break the chain of infection.

Among the affected celebrations in Sabah this year is the Kaamatan (harvest) Festival.

“In the context of this festival, we need to sacrifice our comfort and freedom by celebrating it in moderation and always adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the government,” he said in his address today in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival this year.

Mohd Shafie said looking back at history, the Kaamatan Festival was celebrated in honour of Huminodun, who had sacrificed herself to save the Kadazan Dusun Murut ethnic groups from a disastrous famine due to insufficient food supply.

He called on the people in Sabah to also show their sacrifices by complying with the SOP during the festival.

“We have to take the responsibility together, whether from the government side or the people, to combat the Covid-19 pandemic because we need to stand united to stop the spread of the virus,” he said. — Bernama

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