MOH expects daily COVID cases to drop to double digits in May

The Health Ministry (MOH) expects the daily COVID-19 positive cases to return to double digits in May, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He hoped that the two-week enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) would help stabilise the numbers before an expected drop in daily cases after Jan 27. “Our expectation is that if we implement the MCO for four weeks, followed by a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), we may be able to achieve daily figures of double digits on May 11,” he said. He also said that the COVID-19 infectivity rate (Rt) or R-naught (R0), which had dropped from 1.2 to 1.06 today, was expected to drop further in the coming days. “We need to have high discipline by embracing the 3C of (avoiding) crowded, confined, close (spaces) and the 3W (wash, wear, warn),” he said. (Bernama)

COVID vaccination programme expected to be completed end of this year or early 2022

The Health Ministry (MOH) is targetting the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the country to be completed by the end of this year or early next year. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the vaccination programme would involve three phases with the first phase expected to start in March involving half a million vaccines for frontline workers. The second phase is for vulnerable groups involving those aged 60 and above and those with infectious and non-communicable diseases. “The third phase will be given to all 17 million Malaysians, especially to those who are working. So, we hope to complete the vaccination by the end of this year or early next year. This is our plan to end or to break the Covid-19 infection chain in our country,” he said. Any vaccine has side effects such as fever, redness and so on following the body’s response to the vaccine, he added. He said they would continue monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the vaccine in the near and long term. (Bernama)

Bintai Kinden partners with International Equities for mixed development in Penang, Melaka

Bintai Kinden Corporation Bhd (BKC) is teaming up with Australia-based International Equities Corporation Ltd (IEC) to jointly undertake two mixed property development and management projects with healthcare facilities and wellness services in Melaka and Penang. Under this collaboration, BKC will take lead in the project to be developed on two parcels of freehold land measuring 5.34 acres in Melaka and Penang with an estimated GDV of RM470 million. BKC and IEC will set up a management company to undertake the management, marketing activities under the Seasons brand name, promotion and operation of the mixed property development and management projects namely Holistica Melaka and Holistica Penang. Occupying 4.74 acres freehold land in Melaka, Holistica Melaka will have an estimated GDV of RM380 million. Holistica Penang which is situated at the fringe of Georgetown and has an estimated GDV of RM90 million, is a lifestyle condotel development. (NST Online)

Challenging times to continue for property market

The next couple of years will be the most challenging for property developers in Johor because of the economic slowdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Rehda Johor branch deputy chairman Ku Hwa Seng said the situation was likely to be even worse than a year ago when Covid-19 first hit most parts of the world. Ku said the second round of the movement control order implemented by the government nationwide, except in Sarawak, to flatten the Covid-19 curve would further hit the property market. He said there were hardly any new property launches in Johor, especially Iskandar Malaysia, due to the unfavourable market sentiments. He hopes the Federal Government would consider extending the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) which is due to end on May 31 by another six or 12 months. (The Star Online)

HSR might be revisited when economy is more stable

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, which could have benefited property projects along its route, may be revisited by the government later, said CBRE | WTW group managing director Foo Gee Jen. He opined that when the local economy becomes more stable, the government might decide to reconsider the project, however, at the moment, the priority is on combating COVID-19 and sustaining economic growth. Meanwhile, CBRE | WTW director Jonathan Lo said the cancellation would have a negative impact on most of the upcoming projects along the planned route and stations, specifically those which were meant to benefit from its spillover effects. He said the western corridor would be most affected, noting that due to the closure of international borders, Iskandar Malaysia’s retail sector had been badly hit. On Jan 1, the Malaysia and Singapore governments jointly announced the cancellation of the 350-kilometre rail line project after failing to reach an agreement on the proposed changes by the Dec 31, 2020 deadline. (The Star Online)