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Singapore Reports More Than 1,000 COVID-19 Cases For Second Day

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SINGAPORE, Sept 20 — Singapore, which is currently facing a wave of COVID-19 infections in the community from Aug 23, has reported more than 1,000 new cases for the second day on Sunday.

In its data released late Sunday, the republic’s Ministry of Health said it has detected a total of 1,012 new cases  – comprising 919 in the community, 90 in the migrant worker dormitories, and three imported cases.

On Saturday, a total of 1,009 cases of infection were detected here.

The last time the republic reported more than 1,000 daily cases was in April last year.

The ministry said over the last 28 days, of the 11,196 infected individuals, 98.1 per cent have no symptoms or mild symptoms, 1.7 per cent requires oxygen supplementation, 0.2 per cent requires ICU care, and 0.04 per cent has died.

As of noon Sunday, the total caseload stood at 77,804 with 7,144 active cases.

A total of 60 persons succumbed to death so far in the republic due to COVID-19.

As of Sept 18, 82 per cent of Singapore’s population has completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 84 per cent has received at least one dose.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Firefighter Who Lost Unconsciousness During Rescue Operation Dies Early Thursday

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MELAKA, Oct 21 — The Melaka Tengah Fire and Rescue Department firefighter who lost consciousness during a flood rescue operation at Kampung Sungai Putat, Ayer Keroh died early today.

Melaka Fire and Rescue Department director Asst Comm Abu Bakar Katain said Mohd Diya Che Jusoh, 46, breathed last at 3.11 am today at the Emergency and Trauma Department of the Melaka Hospital here.

“The remains will be buried at the Masjid An-Nur Cemetery, Krubong, at 10 am today.

“The staff of the Melaka Fire and Rescue Department convey their condolences and are saddened by the incident,” he said in a statement today.

In the incident which occurred at about 5.30 pm yesterday,  Mohd Diya was believed to have been securing a line in a flood area to help evacuate Kampung Sungai Putat residents from their dwellings when he suddenly lost consciousness and fell into the swift chest-high flood waters.

Other firefighters who witnessed the incident took about 10 minutes to rescue him and get him to safety.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Bali To Provide Travel Guidebook To Foreign Tourists

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BALI, Oct 20  — The Bali provincial government has created a guidebook for foreign tourists,  which among others contain travel rules in the province including arrival protocols at the airport.

The guidebook, is part of the international tourist spot’s preparations in welcoming foreign tourists in the wake of COVID-19.

“As the government reopened tourism in Bali on October 14 (2021), we compiled a travel guide to be used by foreign tourists,” Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office Putu Astawa said.

 “Furthermore, foreign tourists must conduct a five-day self-quarantine at one of the 35 hotels designated by the government once they arrive in Bali, “ he was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.               The guidebook which will be handed to tourists during the self-isolation period, comprises of rules on traveling in Bali including the arrival protocols at the Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and the health protocols, which must be implemented when traveling.

“In addition, tourists are required to have health insurance, visas, and complete COVID-19 vaccination certificates. If they fulfill the conditions, they can enter Bali,” he reiterated.

He said the government is only allowing tourists from countries with Level 1 and 2 confirmed cases and a positivity rate of below five percent, adding tourists need to submit negative results of RT-PCR tests taken a maximum of 72 hours before departure and accommodation proof.

“In addition, the tourists will have to undergo two additional RT-PCR tests – once they arrive at the airport and on the fourth day of the quarantine,” he said.

According to Astawa, an increase will be seen in the number of tourists in November or December.

“Currently, Balinese tourism actors are not the only ones who are making preparations, but also the travelers and the airlines,” he added.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Budget 2022 To Set The Tone For Ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Investors will keep a close tab on Budget 2022 which will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 29 by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, as it could be a decisive factor in determining their confidence with regards to the ringgit’s performance.

In early January 2021, the domestic unit breached the 4.00-level against the US dollar, depreciating to a year-to-date low of 4.24 mid-August before regaining its grounds to trade at the current level of between 4.14 and 4.19.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the strong commodities performance has helped to boost the ringgit.

He noted that three commodities, namely crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude palm oil (CPO) have remained at elevated levels.

“This should help to some degree, providing fiscal space for the government while being a catalyst for an improved capital expenditure plan among the oil and gas players,” he said.

“Perhaps the upcoming budget announcement would shed more light on how the government plans to reduce the budget gap, given that the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) has indicated a fiscal shorfall of 3.0 per cent – 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 as opposed to the 2022 estimates of 6.5 per cent – 7.0 per cent,” he told Bernama.

The 12MP is a five-year roadmap for the country’s development, with an annual GDP growth target of between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent from 2021-2025.

Meanwhile, ActivTrades forex analyst Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz believes the ringgit could hit the 4.10 level against the US dollar for the rest of the year.

He said the 12MP is aligned with the global goals of sustainable economic development and greater social equity — positive pull factors for foreign investors to invest in Malaysia.

“As a currency pair, we also need to understand the US dollar situation. The recent announcement by the Federal Reserve (Fed) that it will not raise the interest rate for the US dollar until 2023 could weaken the currency.

“So, in general, we are talking about a simultaneous ringgit appreciation and a possible greenback depreciation, which could be good for Malaysia,” said Diniz.

He also noted that the local unit has been appreciating against major counterparts in the past few months.

“However, the uptrend is not quite significant, given the uncertainties due to the onslaught of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the region.

“Still, I see that the recovery is positive and the speed of this appreciation is also important as greater exchange rate stability provides more predictability for international trade,” he said, adding that an excessively rapid appreciation of the ringgit could affect the trade balance.

Sources: BERNAMA

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