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The long-delayed project to build a high-speed rail (HSR) link between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur has been terminated.
This Week's News Spotlight:
Malaysia and Singapore terminate high speed rail project | Bangkok to close schools for two weeks due to rising Covid-19 cases | Indonesia to receive raw materials to produce 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine | Philippine islands self-isolate after new Covid-19 strain from Malaysia | Myanmar extends Covid-19 measures until end of January
Malaysia and Singapore terminate high speed rail project - Straits Times
Both countries had agreed to build the 350km rail line in 2013. It was expected to run from downtown Kuala Lumpur to Jurong East in Singapore.
Malaysia and Singapore have terminated a joint high speed rail project — the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) — after the countries failed to agree on changes proposed by Malaysia before the deadline of December 31.
The Malaysia government had proposed changes to the project because of the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, but the two countries were unable to reach an agreement, resulting in the termination of the project. In accordance with the agreement, Malaysia has to compensate Singapore for costs that have already been incurred.
Bangkok to close schools for two weeks due to rising Covid-19 cases - CNA
On January 1, Thailand confirmed two new deaths from the Covid-19. There are now 7,163 infections and 63 deaths in the country since January 2020.
Bangkok will close all schools for two weeks in light of a new wave of Covid-19, the city announced. On the first day of 2021, Thailand confirmed 279 new cases of Covid-19, with most of them linked to a cluster involving migrant workers in the Samut Sakhon province, which lies south of Bangkok.
However, new clusters have started to spread into Bangkok, leading to tighter measures in an attempt to control the outbreak. All schools, daycare centres for young and elderly, preschool and tutorial centres will close from January 4 to 17. Other public facilities such as amusement parks, playgrounds, public baths, and massage parlours will be closed from January 2 onward.
Indonesia to receive raw materials to produce 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine - Straits Times
Indonesia earlier secured 125.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac.
Indonesia will receive raw materials to produce 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese firm. This is on top of the three million doses that have already been dispatched to the Southeast Asian country.
On Thursday, an aircraft arrived at Indonesia’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the afternoon with 1.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, which follows from the first batch of 1.2 million doses on December 2. The doses will be used for mass vaccination, which are intended to start in early 2021.
Philippine islands self-isolate after new Covid-19 strain from Malaysia - CNA
The Philippines has recorded more than 472,000 Covid-19 cases so far, with most of them in the capital Manila.
Sulu, a province of islands in the southern Philippines, will self-isolate for two weeks starting on January 4 in order to keep out a new Covid-19 variant found in neighbouring Malaysia. The islands are home to more than 900,000 people but currently only have two active cases of Covid-19, out of a total of 242 cases recorded so far.
Last week, Malaysia announced that it had found a new variant of Covid-19 in the country, but had not yet detected the new, highly infectious strain originally discovered in the United Kingdom.
Myanmar extends Covid-19 measures until end of January - Myanmar Times
Most Covid-19 cases are concentrated in its commercial capital Yangon, but Mandalay is also seeing an increase in case numbers.
The Myanmar government has announced that it will extend Covid-19 preventive measures in the country until January 31 in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. This is the 14th time that restrictions have been extended since being first introduced in April.
The number of daily positive cases in the country has dropped below 1,000 for the past seven cases. On Wednesday night, the country announced 619 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 123,153.