Editor’s Note: Malaysia among Asean countries performing most Covid-19 tests

By Sharon Chang

Well, how do you work on getting things back to “normal” when no one is certain what the “new normal” will look like? This is a question I have been asked many times.

Anyways, its Friday time. The week just fluttered away – maybe because we had one workday less this week – but my team and I managed to do lots. Thanks team!

The highlight for me this week is I get to do a food review (compliments of Tail & Spin) from the comfort of my home, nice right? With social distancing, it is no fun being in a restaurant sitting yards away from the host.

Do look out for the review. It will be up next week.

As usual, we have tons of news today to close off the week.

ParkRoyal Kuala Lumpur, another 5-star hotel hammered heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hotel has forecasted significant financial loss for 2020 even after considering cost reduction measures. According to a document sighted, general manager Benny Chung in a memo to the staff said the hotel had planned to undergo a phased renovation late this year.

However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Hotel will be undergoing a total closure for 15 months for renovations to take place mid-June this year. As such, all employees are offered Voluntarily Separation Scheme (VSS) as a gesture of goodwill from the Company.

Food and beverage store, MyBurgerlab is currently looking into converting their extra dine-in space into marts as part of their strategy in coping with the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to Founder Chin Ren Yi, myBurgerLab has been faring better in terms of sales during the MCO, however the same cannot be said for its profits.

They are paying 20-30 percent of what they make to Grab and just to break even, they must sell double the amount.

Malaysia is among the Southeast Asian countries that carry out the most Covid-19 tests, and  so far, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had conducted screenings on 424,306 people, of which 6,855 tested positive, translating into a 1.62 percent positive rate, according to health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The number of people screened is equivalent to about 13 people per 1,000 population. This puts Malaysia’s rate above Indonesia’s 0.5 people per 1,000 population, but below Singapore’s 25 per 1,000 population, according to a Reuters report.

Local cosmetics brand, Chriszen, pivots to hand sanitisers to survive Covid-19 crisis.

Founder and managing director Mandy Leong said their sales performance has been badly affected, and it is necessary to diversify the product range to keep the business afloat.

According to Leong, the hand sanitisers have helped cushioned the blow. Ever since April, their total cosmetic sales have been almost dead.

Lastly, and on a more positive note, local kitchen appliance brand, MMX Malaysia, has quadrupled their sales during the Covid-19 crisis. Its products are only sold on e-commerce marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee. According to Charles Lee, founder and CEO, the spike in sales figures is attributed to a new wave of customers switching from buying goods offline to online.

What is your thought on this – With mosques and suraus now allowed to open during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period, the government is planning to extend the same permission to non-Muslim houses of worship.

Goodnight and have a good weekend ahead!

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