Khairy: Elderly Sinovac recipients to get Pfizer Covid-19 booster shots

The Health Ministry will use Pfizer vaccines as booster doses for those over the age of 60 years’ old and were fully vaccinated with the Sinovac version, said Khairy Jamaluddin. The health minister said the programme would begin tomorrow and that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved of the so-called “Mix and Match” approach to vaccination in order to generate stronger immune response. He added that those who qualify for the booster doses would be notified via the MySejahtera application as well as SMS. Khairy added that the booster dose was also completely voluntary. He added that the booster dose will be free of charge under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and will be administered by private general practitioners under ProtectHealth Sdn Bhd, an incorporated entity formed under the MOH to manage private healthcare centres participation in the immunisation programme. (Malay Mail)

Rehda: Six to 24 months for Malaysia’s property market to fully recover post-pandemic

Housing developers revealed today that it could take anywhere from half a year to two years for the Malaysian property market to fully recover from the tumultuous effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said 83% of 180 respondents across peninsula Malaysia opined as such when polled. “Six months means by March to April next year, and for 24 months, we will go into 2023 which they anticipated,” he said. He said there was increased optimism for the property industry outlook for 1H 2022 as compared to 2H 2021 through the survey findings. “In terms of property market and sales performance, 63% said they were optimistic and in terms of residential sector growth, 69% said they were optimistic,” he said, adding that respondents anticipate an increase in buyers as the broader economic situation improves. According to the survey, the top three performers by type of homes sold for 1H 2021 were multi-storey terrace homes, followed by single-storey terrace, and apartment or condominium units. (Malay Mail)

CIMB to provide property financing to Juwai IQI customers in Malaysia

CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd have teamed up with Juwai IQI, Asia’s largest proptech group, to provide property financing to the latter’s customers in Malaysia. The partnership will also allow direct access to CIMB’s suite of investment solutions and exclusive benefits, providing a one-stop centre for a wide range of financial needs, “including financing, takaful, deposits, investments and other banking services”. Juwai IQI has been operating in Malaysia since 2012 and is present in 10 states, selling and renting properties with a combined value of over US$1bil (RM4.16bil) in total in 2020. As a leading proptech group in ASEAN, it picked Malaysia for its Asean headquarters. (The Star)

IGB sells stake in UK asset for RM600mil

IGB Bhd has sold its entire 50% equity interest and shareholder debt in a freehold title in London to a unit of global real estate group Hines for £104.37mil (RM600mil). IGB said its units Verokey Sdn Bhd and Tower Ray Ltd each sold their 50% stakes in joint venture Black Pearl Ltd (BPL), which owns the land known as 18 Blackfriars Road, SE1, London, and transferred their shareholder debt to HNG Blackfriars 1 Ltd for £208.75mil (RM1.2bil). The group said it considers the transaction beneficial as it represents an opportunity to realise its investment in Black Pearl. According to IGB, the proceeds will be used for the general working capital of the group. (The Star)

Religious reasons, disapproving spouses among reasons why almost 2,000 teachers in Malaysia refusing Covid-19 jab

A total of 2,753 teachers have not received a Covid-19 vaccine jab as of yesterday, according to a news report that quoted Senior Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin. Malay daily Berita Harian reported Radzi as saying that 1,993 of the teachers were those who refused to be vaccinated, giving reasons that included religious grounds, disapproving partners, and that they were not ready to do so. The remaining 760 teachers were not inoculated on health grounds, due to a chronic illness, allergy, pregnancy or currently breastfeeding, planning for a baby, or being a recent Covid-19 patient, among others. According to Education Ministry guidelines, physical classes will be conducted on a rotational basis, and only vaccinated teachers are allowed to run them. Unvaccinated teachers will be limited to teaching online or other duties as instructed by school administrators. (Malay Mail)

Hospitalisations are rising following interstate travel

With Covid-19 hospitalisations showing an increase, the Health Ministry has called on the public to exercise caution now that interstate travel is allowed. Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said since the government allowed people to cross state borders from Oct 11, the number of people being admitted for Covid-19 has begun to rise. “If we look at the graph of hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients, we see an increasing trend in Selangor and Putrajaya after interstate travel was allowed. The same is seen in Sarawak and Negri Sembilan, especially for patients in Categories 3, 4 and 5,” he said. Despite the ascending trend, Khairy said the government does not intend to revoke its decision on allowing interstate travel. The country’s hospital capacity is currently stable and not at a point where its healthcare system will collapse, he added. Khairy said the ministry will also be publishing the new National Testing Strategy that would serve as a guideline for when Malaysians should undergo Covid-19 tests. (The Star)