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Ramadan bazaars go digital in Southeast Asia amid pandemic

For 15 years, Siti Zabedah Abdul Wahab’s family food business has opened for one month a year, selling murtabak, a pan-fried bread stuffed with meat, at Malaysia’s popular Ramadan bazaars. But this year, Murtabak Mami Murtabak Sultan started taking orders on Whatsapp and Facebook weeks before the Muslim fasting month began on April 23, as…

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Singapore confirms 1,016 more coronavirus cases

Singapore’s health ministry said on Wednesday it had preliminarily confirmed another 1,016 cases of the novel coronavirus, taking total infections there to 10,141.  The health ministry said most of the cases were among migrant workers living in dormitories, a group that accounts for more than three quarters of the city-state’s infections.  Singapore authorities on Tuesday…

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ASEAN leaders to hold Special Summit on COVID-19

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di -Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will be joining other ASEAN leaders for the inaugural ASEAN Special Summit on COVID-19 through a video conference tomorrow. The leaders will also be holding a video conference for the ASEAN Plus Three Special Summit with the heads of…

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Singapore cenbank eases policy as virus heralds deep recession

Singapore’s central bank eased its monetary policy on Monday, as widely expected, with the city-state’s bellwether economy bracing for a deep recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it would adopt a zero percent per annum rate of appreciation of the policy band starting at the prevailing level of…

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Malaysia expresses gratitude to Brunei government

A joint effort recently took place between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam to bring home Malaysian and Bruneian citizens back to their respective countries. In a statement, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs COVID-19 task force chairman Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar said efforts were made possible following the strong bilateral ties between both countries….

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Singapore scientists study genes to fast-track coronavirus vaccine

Scientists in Singapore say they have developed a way to track genetic changes that speeds testing of vaccines against a coronavirus that has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide. The scientists, at the city-state’s Duke-NUS Medical School, say their technique needs just days to evaluate potential vaccines provided by Arcturus Therapeutics, an American biotech firm…

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Malaysia steps up coronavirus tests as it braces for ‘worst scenario’

Malaysia is ramping up coronavirus tests in preparation for the “worst scenario”, as it grapples with Southeast Asia’s highest number of infections, a health ministry official told Reuters. The World Health Organisation has urged countries to widen testing to contain the virus. Malaysia’s tally of infections has jumped six-fold in just ten days to more…

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