Malaysia’s Health DG among ‘doctors at the top’ during Covid-19 pandemic

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has been named among the “top doctors” in the world, thanks to his straightforward approach in handling the outbreak in the country. China Global TV Network listed Dr Noor Hisham as one of the three leading doctors in the fight to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, alongside America’s Dr Anthony Fauci and New Zealand’s Ashley Bloomfield. These three medical professionals have received heaps of praise over the past weeks and months for being a “calming” and “trustable” source of information and facts during the pandemic to their countrymen. Dr Noor Hisham, 56, who has been the director-general since 2013, has been dubbed a “trusted face” by Malaysians thanks to his consistent updates about the virus onto his social media platforms, relying on facts and figures to make decisions and inform the public. (Malay Mail)

New daily Covid-19 cases plunge to 85, recovery rate now up to 52%

New coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections have fallen to the lowest since March 14, with just 85 more cases reported yesterday. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in his daily press briefing said this brings the total Covid-19 cases to 5,072. The last time Malaysia reported new cases in the double digits was on March 14, when 35 positive Covid-19 cases were recorded, Dr Noor Hisham also reported one new death, bringing the toll death to 83. 169 more patients have recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 2,647 people. He added that this shows a recovery rate or 52.2 per cent, the first time more than half of the infected people have recovered. Dr Noor Hisham also pointed out that the MCO is beginning to show positive results. (Malay Mail)

Malaysian employment on the line

Malaysia’s unemployment rate in February stood firm at 3.3% from a year ago, meaning the country’s jobless rate has been below 3.5% for 28 months. However, jobs could be on the line in the coming months as businesses cut costs to survive, according to economists. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its recent World Economic Outlook April 2020, launched yesterday, projected Malaysia’s unemployment to spike to 4.9% this year, before easing to 3.4% in 2021. Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a nationwide movement control order (MCO) from March 18 to April 28, is expected to result in job losses as soon as last month. Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid concurred that the jobless rate is expected to creep up starting March, noting that the outlook on the labour market will really depend on the duration of the MCO. MIDF has also revised its unemployment rate forecast to 3.8% this year amid the slowdown in both domestic and global economies. (The Edge)

Over 9,000 arrested for MCO violation as of yesterday, says Ismail Sabri

The authorities arrested 612 people on Tuesday for defying the ongoing movement control order (MCO), with 337 having since been charged in court, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He said of the 612 people, 590 were remanded while 15 were subsequently released by the police. “As of yesterday, the number of MCO violators arrested stands at 9,720 people,” Ismail said during his daily press conference. “As mentioned before, the government will no longer compromise with MCO violators. Stern action will be taken against them, so I hope the public will cooperate on this,” he said. (Malay Mail)

SPM, STPM postponed, UPSR and PT3 cancelled

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced today the cancellation of Standard Six’s Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) and Form Three Assessment (PT3) examinations, amid the Covid-19 pandemic this year. It also announced that the Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM) and Malaysian Vocational Certificate (SVM) examinations for Form Five students, and Malaysian Higher Education Certificate (STPM) and Malaysian Higher Islamic Religious Certificate (STAM) for Form Six students, will be postponed. To reflect the postponement, the Ministry of Higher Education has agreed to postpone the admission date for higher education institutes for foundation, matriculation and diploma programmes to between July and August 2021, while admission for degree programmes will be delayed to September or October 2021. The postponement will encompass all government schools, government-assisted schools, and private schools registered under MOE. (Malay Mail)