Zaihim Enterprise staff head out to make a delivery from the Taman Tun Sardon Wet Market in Penang March 26, 2020. — Sayuti Zainudin
GEORGE TOWN, March 29 — If you’ve run out of fresh ingredients here, you can now avoid going shopping altogether as vendors and even farms have started delivering vegetables, poultry, meats and other groceries directly to your doorstep.
Since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18, some vendors have reported drops in orders from restaurants and hotels.Butcher Abdul Rahman Kachi Mydin gets down to business at the Taman Tun Sardon Wet Market in Penang March 26, 2020. — Sayuti Zainudin
One of them, Abdul Rahman Kachi Mydin, said they supplied beef to hotels on the island and Seberang Perai but these have fallen due to the MCO.
“Since we have five runners to do the deliveries, we decided to deliver direct to individual customers during this time when people cannot come out,” he said.
The vendor, who operates a beef stall at the Taman Tun Sardon market, said the number of delivery orders has increased over the last week, reaching around 200 a day now.
This was because his delivery service covered everything available in the market.
“I don’t only deliver beef; whatever the customer wants, I will try to source for it here from the other stalls in the market and deliver it,” he said.
He said this sometimes included dry ingredients such as curry powder and spices, bread, vegetables and seafood.
He said his delivery service was a way to help people stay home and avoid entering crowds around the market.
“We deliver everywhere on the island, even Batu Ferringhi and Balik Pulau and we charge very minimal delivery fees of between RM3 and RM5,” he said.Butcher Abdul Rahman Kachi Mydin prepares the day's orders at the Taman Tun Sardon Wet Market in Penang March 26, 2020. — Sayuti Zainudin
Customers can call or send WhatsApp messages to his number 012-4141032 and place their orders after 3.30pm each day.
“We will take orders every afternoon and arrange for delivery the next morning,” he said.
He said all products he delivers are halal, especially the chicken and beef, and the service is available daily except for Tuesdays.
Over at the Cecil Street market, Kok Peng Poultry is also providing delivery service for orders of chicken.
The stall operator, Joline Dion, said they have four riders who used to deliver chicken orders to restaurants and hotels.
“Many restaurants are closed and we don’t have many orders but we can’t tell our riders to stay home because they need to make a living to support their families,” she said.
So, the stall started sending out WhatsApp messages informing clients that they are now delivering to individuals in their homes.
“We only charge a minimal delivery fee to pay our riders and this way, customers don’t have to come to the market to buy chicken too, we will send them out,” she said.
She said she received calls from the elderly who had no transport to go to the market; some also lived in Bayan Lepas so she decided not to limit the area of coverage.
“We deliver to any part of Penang island, those poor old aunties, they can’t come out because there’s no one to drive them now, so we will send to them,” she said.
The stall will take delivery orders in the mornings and arrange to send these out either on the next day or the day after that.
“We have over 100 orders per day so sometimes we could not deliver all on the next day and have to arrange to send it out on the day after,” she said.
Customers can call 0124299535 (Peng) or 0194465686 (Kok) to place their orders.
Over the last week, more Penang vendors are jumping on the delivery bandwagon as more WhatsApp messages offering their services are shared.
Audi Farm in Balik Pulau is delivering vegetables and fruits from its farms at RM5 per packet of vegetables of about 250gm.
The farm also offers chicken and delivery is made every Wednesday. The farm can be contacted at 012-406 9099 (Cindy) or 012-459 2009 (Joanne) or email: [email protected]
Other vendors offering grocery delivery services are:
1. Vegetables, frozen food, eggs and groceries
Delivery on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
016-445 3338 (Tan) or 016-4528935 (Kent Lee)
2.MS Vegetables and Groceries
Free delivery for minimum order of RM30
3. Jelutong Fresh Chicken
Order time: 10am - 10pm
Next day delivery: 11am - 2pm
WASHINGTON, March 29 — US President Donald Trump said yesterday that a coronavirus-related quarantine that he was considering for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut would not affect trade.
“I am now considering, will make a decision very quickly, very shortly, a quarantine because it's such a hot area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We'll be announcing that one way or the other fairly soon,” Trump said.
“It won't affect trade in any way, he added while speaking in front of the hospital ship Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia. — Reuters
PANAMA CITY, March 29 — Hundreds of passengers on a cruise ship, where four people have died and over 130 others have influenza-like symptoms, including at least two with the coronavirus, will be transferred to a sister ship, Panamanian authorities said yesterday.
“The ship which could not dock at any port in South America will remain in Panamanian waters 8 nautical miles from the coast, since it did not receive approval from Panamanian health authorities to cross the (Panama) Canal,” Panama's maritime authority said.
It said 401 asymptomatic passengers will be transferred from cruise operator Holland America Line's 238-metre MS Zaandam vessel to the Rotterdam, a sister ship.
There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board the Zaandam, as well as four doctors and four nurses, the cruise operator has said.
Holland America, which is owned by Carnival Corp, said on Friday the Zaandam, previously on a South American cruise, was trying to transit the Panama Canal and make its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But Panama's government denied it access to the canal for sanitary reasons, leaving passengers and crew wondering when they would get home.
“Panamanian authorities have not officially confirmed whether the cruise will be quarantined after it was confirmed that two passengers tested positive for coronavirus, and the cause of death of four older adults is being investigated,” the maritime authority added.
About 70 healthy passengers on the Zaandam have already been boarded onto tenders pulled up on the port side of the ship for transfer to the Rotterdam, according to a passenger.
“I understand that about 70 'healthy' passengers have transferred so far ... People transferring to tender as we speak. I have a full view,” said Ian Rae, a London-based Scotsman on the Zaandam with his wife.
Rae said guests who are exhibiting symptoms are being asked to remain on the Zaandam, which has passengers from a host of nations including Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and New Zealand.
“It would seem that the transfer is based on a temperature test and answering no to four questions," including whether passengers have suffered from cough, fatigue or fever in the past 10 days, Rae said.
He and his wife passed the temperature test but answered that they, like many fellow passengers, have suffered from a cough.
“As a result we shall not be transferring to Rotterdam.” — Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Those living in the Klang Valley can now get their supply of frozen fresh fish and seafood (QFish) without having to leave the comfort of their homes during the movement control order (MCO) period.
This is because the National Fishermen’s Association (Nekmat) is providing free delivery service and all that customers have to do is to place their orders online at www.nekmatbiz.com.my.
“All our items will be advertised on the Nekmat Facebook page daily from 7 am to 1 pm, with some fish being sold at RM4 per kilogramme,” said Nekmat chairman Abdul Hamid Bahari in a statement today.
He added that deliveries would be sent from the Taman Wahyu Nekmat Collection and Distribution Centre here.
Abdul Hamid, who said they have 50 tonnes of QFish in stock, added that Nekmat would buy fresh fish from fishermen and send them straight to their storage before delivering it to customers. — Bernama
MOSCOW, March 28 — Russia’s biggest telecoms provider on Friday pleaded with clients to stop sending coronavirus memes and viral videos, as networks began to overload as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Memes and keeping in good spirits are important, but it is important to be responsible about using content online,” MTS president Alexei Kornya said in a statement on the company’s website.
“I’m not saying you should stop watching films online or participate in video conferences for work,” he said.
But he called on Russians to “refrain from sending around funny but ‘heavy’ videos via messengers to dozens of contacts,” straining the telecoms infrastructure.
MTS has 80 million clients in Russia and has seen a “considerable increase in the load on the network,” mostly in large cities, particularly Moscow, Kornya said.
Russia has not ordered a mandatory lockdown, but many companies switched to telecommuting earlier this month to lower the risk of coronavirus infection.
The internet has exploded with coronavirus-related memes worldwide as face-to-face contacts have decreased because of lockdowns and quarantines. — AFP-Relaxnews
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to Facebook tonight to share the latest updates on the status of drugs needed for Covid-19 treatments in Malaysia.
In his post, the Health director-general revealed that a check of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) database had found that the drugs ‘Chloroquine’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ and ‘Lopinavir/Ritonavir’ are registered with Malaysia’s Drug Control Authority (DCA).
“Supplies of the aforementioned drugs are readily available in Malaysia as they are used to treat other illnesses and can now be used for Covid-19 care,” he wrote.
As for the novel antiviral drug Remdesivir, Dr Noor Hisham said that Malaysia has been chosen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the countries for the clinical study entitled “Multicentre Adaptive Solidarity Trial — Covid-19”. The joint research will determine the drug’s suitability for treating the deadly infection.
“The NPRA will prepare an ‘expedited review’ so that the drug can be brought to Malaysia for clinical trials as soon as possible,” he said.
With respect to another antiviral drug Favipiravir, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) is in the process of obtaining it from suppliers.
He added that in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, if registered distributors have insufficient amounts of a particular drug, the ministry can still “procure alternative supplies in the form of unregistered products through a special exemption issued by the Health director-general”.
In the latest figures issued this evening, Malaysia registered 159 new positive Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2,320.
Twenty-seven people have died from the virus in Malaysia to date.
In his daily press briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the country, Dr Noor Hisham had warned that the MOH is bracing for a possible spike in infections that is predicted to happen in mid-April.
SEOUL, March 28 — Three South Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have been given the green light to export their devices to the United States, officials said Saturday.
The companies won pre-approval under emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration that allows for the products to be sold in America, South Korea’s foreign ministry said, without naming the firms.
The US has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than anywhere else in the world.
Controversy has swirled around the US government’s response to the outbreak, with accusations of insufficient preparations.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said earlier this week that his US counterpart Donald Trump had asked for test kits, although the White House has not confirmed the request.
Moon said Trump had promised to help South Korean manufacturers gain regulatory approval.
A South Korean test kit maker told AFP this week that it is now making 350,000 tests a day — almost as many as the South has used in the entire outbreak so far, and that daily output will increase to a million next month.
Once the hardest-hit country outside China, South Korea appears to have brought its outbreak under control owing to its huge “trace, test and treat” strategy.
It has tested more than 380,000 people in a process that is free to anyone referred by doctors or those who have links to a confirmed case.
A diagnosis takes up to six hours, and results are released within a day.
More than 50 percent of the country’s 9,478 confirmed patients have now recovered thanks to “aggressive tests and active participation in social distancing”, authorities said Saturday.— AFP
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) today denied it is in the midst of collecting personal information of arts enthusiasts or industry players, as claimed in a message which has gone viral on WhatsApp.
Motac, in a statement today, advised the public not to provide their personal information to the irresponsible party.
“If Motac wants to obtain personal information of any artiste, it will be through the association or our official channel.
“We urge the public not to take heed of such messages believed to be from scammers,” it said adding that they should be wary as scams and fake news have been on the rise.
The viral message had requested the artistes and industry players to provide their personal data for the purpose of getting aid from Motac. — Bernama
SINGAPORE, March 28 — Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed an additional 70 cases of Covid-19 infection, with four cases involving Malaysians who are Singapore Work Pass holders.
This is the highest number of positive cases the republic has recorded so far within 24 hours, bringing the tally to 802.
In a statement today, MOH said of the 70 positive cases, 41 are imported while 29 are local cases who have no recent travel history abroad.
The 41 imported cases had travel history to Europe, North America, Asean countries and other parts of Asia, it said.
Two of the imported cases involved Malaysian men, aged 28 and 47, with both currently warded at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) respectively.
Meanwhile, two other Malaysians — a 36-year old female and a 26-year old man — are part of the 29 new local cases.
The female patient is currently unlinked to any previous cases and warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital while the man is linked to the cluster of SingPost Centre in Eunos Road and warded at NCID.
According to the ministry, 15 more cases of Covid-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities today, and in all, 198 have fully recovered.
Of the 420 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving while 19 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, it said.
As at noon, MOH has identified 10,875 close contacts who have been quarantined. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Malaysia’s Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) is among the largest in the world, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“When compared to the nation’s gross domestic product, it is about 17 per cent, whereas the United Kingdom’s is 16 per cent, United States’ is 11 per cent and Singapore’s is 11 per cent,” he said.
The considerable amount, he said, also showed the government’s seriousness in mitigating the adverse situation caused by Covid-19.
Speaking as a guest in a programme, Bicara Naratif, hosted by RTM today, he touched on the two stimulus packages launched by the government, the first being RM20 billion, on Feb 27 and the second, of RM230 billion, on March 27.
Added together, the packages total RM250 billion, he pointed out.
“I will summarise that there are three sources — first is the government; second, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF); and third, the banks,” he said.
He said RM25 billion comes from the government, RM50 billion from EPF, and RM175 billion from the banks.
An unprecedented crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, Mustapa said warranted concerted action, and therefore it was incumbent upon the sources to work together.
“We are all in this together,” he said, acknowledging the role played by other organisations such as the Social Security Organisation (Socso). — Bernama