Coronavirus — Cases Increase in SE Asia, WHO Resumes Testing

  • Job losses in Malaysia rose 42 percent in the first quarter of the current year.
  • The Singaporean government has housed around 32,000 foreign workers who are not infected with the virus in temporary residences.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume testing on hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment.

The number of coronavirus infections in Malaysia has exceeded 8,000. Today, 277 new cases have been identified. Of these, 270 were found in immigration detention centers. The total number of cases has increased to 8,247, and 28 people have healed in the last 24 hours.

The coronavirus was confirmed to have reached Malaysia in January 2020, when it was detected on travellers from China arriving via Singapore on 25 January, following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Hubei, China. As of June 4, there have been 8,247 cases reported and 115 deaths.

Currently, 1,573 patients are receiving treatment in hospitals. However, no one died today in Malaysia. Thus, the death toll is unchanged, at 115.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Organization (SOCSO) and the Workforce Organization said job losses in Malaysia rose 42 percent in the first quarter of the current year. They have also warned that the loss of employment will continue to increase by 50 to 75 percent in subsequent quarters. Both organizations are concerned that unemployment is likely to increase further than the economic recession faced by Southeast Asian countries in 1997.

In the last 24 hours, another 517 people in Singapore have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus. The number of cases has increased to 36,922. In recent days, it has been reported that no one had been infected by the outbreak in Singapore for seven days. Today, 15 people have contracted the virus. The death toll is 24, according to the Singapore Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, the Singaporean government has housed around 32,000 foreign workers who are not infected with the virus in temporary residences. These temporary residences have been set up in sports halls, military camps, and residential buildings of the Housing Development Corporation.

About half of the 30,000 foreign workers affected by the virus have recovered completely, according to the local media.

WHO to Resume Testing on Hydroxychloroquine

The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume testing on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Director General Tedros Adhanom had halted trials due to a study showing higher mortality rates among those who were given the drug. He subsequently announced WHO’s decision to continue all testing and trials. Tedros tweeted:

“Based on available data, the #COVID19 Solidarity Trial Data Safety & Monitoring Committee recommended there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol. The Executive Group endorsed the continuation of all arms of the Trial, including the use of hydroxychloroquine.”

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria. Other uses include treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.

Others, including US President Donald Trump, have continued to point out that hydroxychloroquine, a type of drug used to treat malaria, can also be used to treat coronavirus infections. Similar research has been conducted by various countries, including India and the US. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released this information in a number of studies that suggest that this drug has no effect on the coronavirus, but rather that it has side effects for patients.

What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is similar to the chloroquine used to treat malaria. The drug, which has been used for diseases such as paralysis, has been used by doctors for the past few decades as an anti-viral drug. Medical experts warn of the over-expectation of this drug. Doctors are looking for signs of blocking chloroquine’s coronavirus during laboratory tests.

However, there are no clear study results on how this drug works for each affected patient. Experiments are currently underway in China, the United States, Britain, and Spain. According to Worldometers, more than 6.6 million people are infected worldwide with coronavirus. Of these, more than 390,000 have died.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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