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Virus-hit Hong Kong considering lockdown
HONG KONG •
Hong Kong may impose a China-style hard lockdown that confines people to their homes, authorities signalled yesterday, with the city’s zero-Covid strategy in tatters and bodies piling up in hospitals.
Two years of strict zero-Covid policies kept the coronavirus largely bay but a breakthrough of the highly transmissible Omicron variant exposed how little authorities had done to prepare for a mass outbreak.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam previously ruled out a citywide lockdown and instead has ordered all 7.4 million residents to be tested in March.
But in a U-turn, health secretary Sophia Chan confirmed yesterday that it was still an option.
Asked by a presenter at
whether a lockdown was still ruled out she replied: “No. We are still discussing.”
“From a public health perspective, to bring out the best effect of compulsory universal testing, we need to reduce people’s movements to some extent,” she added.
Chan’s comments came a day after Li Dachuan, a senior mainland official involved in a joint taskforce with Hong Kong authorities, described a lockdown as “the most ideal and best approach to achieve the best effect of universal tests”.
The revelation adds fresh uncertainty and anxiety for residents and businesses in a city gripped by the kind of chaos that was more familiar at the start of the pandemic.
Hong Kong announced 26,000 new infections and 83 deaths on Sunday alone. Before the current wave, the city had recorded just 12,000 cases from the start of the pandemic.
Hospitals have been stretched to breaking point for weeks and on Sunday officials revealed bodies are piling up at hospitals because mortuaries are full.
“At this moment, we face a problem of transportation of dead bodies from hospital to public mortuary,” Hospital Authority chief manager Lau Ka-hin told reporters.
“That’s why there are some bodies who were initially planned to be transported to public mortuary, but stayed in hospital.”
Hong Kong’s seven-day average death rate is currently running at around eight per one million people.
Johor Port channels aid to 228 underprivileged students
Port Bhd, a member of MMC Group, has provided aids to 228 underprivileged students from SK Kopok, SK Cahaya Baharu and SK Perigi Acheh as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, “Jom Ke Sekolah” programme.
With the objective of lightening the financial burden of families with low household income, the provision of brand-new school supplies and Covid-19 essentials will enable these children to embark on their new academic year 2022/2023 confidently.
Johor Port CEO Md Derick Basir said, “We hope these gifts will bring cheer to the students who have been attending the Homebased Teaching and Learning most of last year due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Johor Port’s focus in giving back to the community will help to empower the lives of the younger generations and strengthen the already good relationship with
the community,” he said, adding that the company will play its part in ensuring the underprivileged students will not be left behind or drop out of school.
The distribution of the financial aid and school supplies were targeted to be in conjunction with the first day of school in March as scheduled.
School representatives were present at their respective schools to receive the contribution on behalf of the students.
Johor Port’s CSR initiative focuses on giving back to the communities especially in the areas where it operates, to facilitate the growth of the local socio-economy.
The company has always been supportive of underprivileged students and has helped and contributed to numerous schools in the Pasir Gudang area through the “Jom Ke Sekolah” programme since 2018 and will continue to help more students in the future.
SK Kopok’s representatives expressing gratitude to Johor Port for their enormous financial aid and school supplies on behalf of the students
Pic courtesy of Johor Port
Serba Dinamik posts net loss of RM290m in 2Q
by NUR HANANI AZMAN
Dinamik Holdings Bhd net loss for its second quarter ended Dec 31, 2021 (2Q22), widened to RM290.33 million from RM42.1 million in 1Q22.
Revenue for the period amounted to RM177.14 million, which was 90% lower year-on-year from the RM1.8 billion it posted for the same period a year earlier.
Revenue decreased 77.8% from 1Q22 mainly due to slower activities in the operations and maintenance segment, especially in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia.
“Overall, the group incurred a gross loss of RM165.9 million, with a reduction of RM234.8 million against 1Q22,” the company said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.
Its operations and maintenance (O&M) segment remains the largest contributor to revenue in both 2Q22 and 1Q22, albeit the decrease in revenue compared to 1Q22.
The group recorded a net loss of RM332m after corporate expenses and consolidation elimination of RM235m
Engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) segment’s revenue in 2Q22 reduced by 41.9% compared to 1Q22 to RM30.4 million due to slower EPCC activities in Malaysia hence resulting in the gross loss position for the current quarter.
Serba Dinamik’s ICT segment and education and training (E&T)
segment registered revenue of RM2.7 million and RM2.3 million respectively in the quarter.
Revenue and gross loss for the six months totalled RM976.5 million and RM96.9 million respectively. About 90% of the group’s revenue was contributed by the O&M segment, followed by 8.5% from the
EPCC and remaining 0.9% from the ICT and E&T segments.
The group recorded a net loss of RM332 million after corporate expenses and consolidation elimination of RM234.7 million.
Geographically, the Middle East region continued to be the highest revenue contributor for the group
accounting for 51.1% of the overall revenue in the quarter or RM177.1 million.
The revenue mainly came from projects in Qatar and the UAE at RM58.8 million and RM30.6 million respectively.
South-East Asia accounted for RM64 million of revenue in 2Q22 or 36.1% of the total. Its Malaysian business, mainly the O&M and EPCC activities, made RM44.1 million or 24.9% of revenue.
Indonesia contributed 11.2% of total revenue for the quarter or RM19.9 million.
Serba Dinamik has been classified as a PN17 company by the exchange and its shares remain suspended since Oct 22, 2021.
“The company board is confident its restructuring and regularisation plan will benefit shareholders in the long run. At this time, the board has enlisted the assistance of the court’s judicial management,” its filing stated.
Serba Dinamik anticipates operations will remain challenging.