Patients will be discharged even if they test positive after 14 days, says Health DG

The Health Ministry will be discharging Covid-19 patients even if they are tested positive at the end of their two-week hospital treatment because they would not be able to infect others, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. The Health director-general said they are changing from the previous protocol in which they would continue to keep the patient in the hospital as long as they are tested positive on the 13th day. “According to a (recent) World Health Organisation report, if they have passed the 14 days (of treatment), the chances of them infecting others are zero,” he said. Covid-19 patients may still test positive after 14 days due to virus shedding or because the test detected the fragment of the dead virus. (The Star Online)

Genting delays opening of theme park to Q4 2021

Genting Malaysia Bhd has delayed the opening of its outdoor theme park at Resorts World Genting (RWG) by more than 12 months to Q4 2021. It was originally set to open in Q3 2020. Genting Malaysia is working on a “revised timeline” for the completion and opening of the OTP at RWG. Construction works were affected by restrictions imposed by the government. “The big negative from the results announcement was the delay of the theme park opening date from third quarter 2020 to fourth quarter 2021 due to travel restrictions, weak demand and slow pace of works during COVID-19,” said Nomura Research analysts. The group’s resort operations worldwide had been temporarily suspended from mid-March amid efforts to stem the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In Malaysia, all of its resorts remain shut. Genting Malaysia Bhd reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of nearly RM418 million for Q1 2020. The group is implementing “aggressive cost control” measures, including reducing operational expenditure and cancelling or deferring non-essential capital expenditure. (GGR Asia)

resort world genting fox theme park

5-star hotels in KL up for sale as Covid-19 woes drag on

The owners of some of Kuala Lumpur’s finest hotels are putting their properties up for sale as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cripple the travel and hospitality industry. Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners executive director Shaharuddin M Saaid said many hotel owners want to cash in on their properties as revenue has all but dried up due to travel restrictions across the world. He said some 20 hotels had already closed, adding that this was no surprise. In recent weeks, a number of unnamed hotels, including five-star properties, have been listed for sale on online property portals. Asking prices vary but five-star hotels are being listed from RM350 million to as much as RM1.7 billion in the city centre. Hotels are also faced with restrictions and cannot operate at full capacity. Shaharuddin said those who bought the hotels now on sale might intend to turn them into service apartments or even commercial buildings. Shaharuddin said some hotel owners had already been preparing to sell their properties before the Covid-19 outbreak, while others had listed their properties to see what prices they could fetch. (Free Malaysia Today)

Wealthy Chinese buyers snapping up luxury homes again

Across China and Asia, affluent Chinese buyers are snapping up luxury housing, in many cases to guard their wealth against anticipated inflation and a weakening yuan. The rush to add real estate has led to a jump in upmarket housing prices in China, while offering some support for Asian property markets hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. A gradual easing of virus restrictions is making it easier for wealthy Chinese to view properties and complete purchases in Asian hotspots like Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney. In another favorite, Singapore, virtual tours and photos have been enough to seal multi-million dollar deals, pointing to how transactions are evolving. Enquiries are also rising in Malaysia, which appeals to them “because there’s a substantial local Chinese population here, making it easier for them to integrate, and our luxury properties are still cheaper than the likes of Singapore,” said a real estate agent. Affluent Chinese buyers are also starting to shop at home, where lockdowns began gradually lifting two months ago. (Business Times)

World economic prospects darken, rebound delayed

Economic prospects for the developed world this year have darkened again in the past month as the coronavirus pandemic has rolled from Asia to the Americas, with a V-shaped sharp recovery expected by less than one-fifth of economists polled by Reuters. With many countries starting to ease lockdown restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected over 5.5 million people globally, equity markets are rallying on hopes for a swift return to health and prosperity. But the trough in economic activity will be deeper and the rebound is likely to take longer than predicted just a short time ago, in part because the pandemic is spreading across the globe in stages and arriving in countries at different times. The world economy is now forecast to shrink 3.2% this year, compared to a 2.0% contraction predicted in the April 23 Reuters poll and -1.2% forecast in an April 3 poll. But the global economy was expected to grow 5.4% next year, according to the latest poll, faster than the 4.5% predicted last month. (Reuters)