Tag Archives: Aviation

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card Required For Foreign Visitors!

Foreign visitors are now required to complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) prior to arrival in Malaysia! Here is what you need to know…

 

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) Requirement

From 1 December 2023 onwards, the Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM) requires foreign visitors to complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) prior to their arrival in Malaysia.

The Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) replaces the physical white arrival card that foreign visitors usually complete before or on arrival in Malaysia.

This new rule applies to all foreign visitors, except:

  • people transiting / transferring through Singapore without seeking immigration clearance,
  • Malaysian Permanent Resident, and
  • Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) holders

As an added benefit, foreign visitors from 10 countries can register their fingerprint at the immigration country, and will thereafter be able to use the Autogate (Egate) at Malaysian airports and other ports of entry to quickly get through immigration!

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • United States
  • United Kingdom

But please note that the MDAC is not a visa. Neither is it an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) that some countries use to pre-register visitors for multiple entries.

Recommended : 2024 Public + School Holidays For Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) Steps

For The First Time

All foreign visitors (except those who were explicitly exempted above) will need to register for the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) for the first time.

  1. Enrol for the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) at this official link.
  2. Complete and submit the MDAC within three days (3) prior to your arrival in Malaysia.
    You will be required to fill in these information:
    a) Full name
    b) Passport number
    c) Nationality
    d) Sex
    e) Date of Birth
    f) Date of Passport Expiry
    g) Email address
    h) Mobile Number
    i) Date of Arrival : Must be within 3 days (including date of submission)
    j) Date of Departure
    k) Mode of Travel : Air / Land / Sea
    l) Last Port of Embarkation
  3. On arrival in Malaysia, you will need to enroll and verify your passport manually at the Malaysian Immigration Department counter.
  4. After that manual enrolment, you will be allowed to use the Egate autogate system when you depart Malaysia.

On Subsequent Visits

On subsequent visits, foreign visitors will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the MDAC within three days (3) prior to your arrival in Malaysia.
  2. Use the Autogate system on arrival and departure

As you can see, the new Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) does more than just eliminate waste and improve efficiency through digital transformation of the physical arrival card. It also streamlines the immigration process for foreign visitors, and allows some of them to breeze through using the Egate system!

But again – please note that you can only submit the MDAC within 3 days of your trip, and this includes the date of submission.

 

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) : Other Important Things

Here are other things about the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card that may be important:

  1. You can check the status of your MDAC registration information here.
  2. You can check the visit pass record for the latest 3 months here.
  3. You can check your Egate eligibility status here. *

* Please note that Egate eligibility is only open to business and social travellers from these 10 countries, who have an e-Passport, and will only start after you have enrolled your fingerprints (biometric verification) at the immigration counter.

 

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China Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries Starts Tomorrow!

From tomorrow onwards, citizens from 6 countries will start enjoying visa-free travel to China for 15 days! Here is what you need to know!

 

China Offers Visa-Free Travel For 6 New Countries!

China will start offering visa-free travel to 6 additional countries on a trial basis, starting on 1 December 2023.

On Friday, 24 November 2023, China announced that citizens from these 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Malaysia

These six countries will join Singapore, Japan, and Brunei, whose citizens already enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

According to Chinese government spokesperson Mao Ning, China has taken this step to help “promote the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world“.

This visa-free travel for those 6 countries, however, is a trial that will last from 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024. This trial program may or may not be extended after that.

Recommended : 2024 Public + School Holidays For Malaysia!

 

China Visa-Free Travel To Hopefully Revive Tourism

Travellers to China are generally required to apply for a visa. China is hoping that offering visa-free travel to certain favoured countries will help to revive its tourism industry that has been hard-hit by strict COVID-19 measures in the past 3 years.

China had the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures, maintaining them long after the rest of the world reopened. Even when the Chinese government decided to reopen its borders, it required inbound travellers to quarantine, which discouraged travel

It was only in March 2023 that China began issuing all types of travel visas again, and in July that it restored the 15-day visa-free travel for Singapore, Japan and Brunei. In August, China finally scrapped all COVID-19 test requirements for inbound travellers.

With visa-free travel removing the onerous application for a Chinese travel visa, it is likely that there will be tourists and business visitors who will take opportunity of the one-year trial to visit China. The only question is whether it is a surge, or merely a tiny bump.

After all, potential travellers would need to worry about the lack of access to essential apps like Google Maps, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. as well as popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. There is also the risk of being detained in China, and prevented from returning home.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Announces Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries!

China just announced that citizens from 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for 15 days! Here is what you need to know!

 

China : Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries!

On Friday, 24 November 2023, China announced that citizens from these 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Malaysia

These six countries will join Singapore, Japan and Brunei, whose citizens already enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

According to Chinese government spokesperson Mao Ning, China has taken this step to help “promote the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world“.

This visa-free travel for those 6 countries, however, is a trial that will last from 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024. This trial program may or may not be extended after that.

Recommended : 2024 Public + School Holidays For Malaysia!

Travellers to China are generally required to apply for a visa. China appears to be trying out this visa-free travel option to revive its tourism industry that has been hard-hit by strict COVID-19 measures in the past 3 years.

China had the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures, maintaining them long after the rest of the world reopened. Even when the Chinese government decided to reopen its borders, it required inbound travellers to quarantine, which discouraged travel

It was only in March 2023 that China began issuing all types of travel visas again, and in July that it restored the 15-day visa-free travel for Singapore, Japan and Brunei. In August, China finally scrapped all COVID-19 test requirements for inbound travellers.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Ukrainian Pilot Defect To Russia With NATO Tech?!

Did a senior Ukrainian pilot just defect to Russia with his Su-27 fighter loaded with NATO missiles, and electronics?!

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Ukrainian Su-27 Pilot Defected To Russia

People are sharing two photos of a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet, claiming / suggesting that it was just flown to Russia by a defecting Ukrainian flight commander, fully-loaded with NATO missiles, radar, and electronic warfare equipment.

Spetsnaℤ 007 🇷🇺 : So this appeared in the base today😁

A Ukrainian “flight commander” flew a SU-27 jet over the Russian border and landed in one of our bases.

Can’t wait for the F-16…

Intelligence FRONT : A senior pilot who served as a squadron commander in the Ukrainian Air Force escaped with a Su-27 jet and took refuge in Russia. It is said that the pilot arrived with a large amount of information, documents and some intact western-made missiles, radar and electronic warfare pod on the plane. This is the first time such an incident has occurred, and the fact that the incoming pilot is a high-ranking figure with plenty of documentation, and that the planes are already NATO integrated and carry NATO equipment and missiles, constitutes a historical opportunity for the Russians regarding NATO air equipment and missiles. It was also a chance to obtain extensive information about the situation of the Ukrainian Air Force and air defense forces, as well as NATO activities in the country.

US Civil Defense News :🚨Update: Ukrainian flight captain decided he wanted to live and defected to Russia, flying and landing his fighter jet in Russia. They realize the war is over. They lost. It’s time to move on!!!

Recommended : Did Russian Missiles Destroy Port Of Odessa In Ukraine?!

 

No Evidence Ukrainian Su-27 Pilot Defected To Russia!

This appears to be another example of FAKE NEWS / VATNIK PROPAGANDA circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Photos Were Taken At RIAT 1996

First, let me just point out that the claim or suggestion that a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet with the tail number 48 just defected to Russia is definitely false.

The two photos of the same Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft with the tail number 48 were not taken recently, or even in Ukraine or Russia.

The photos are of a Ukrainian Su-27S at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) show, was held at RAF Fairfore in Gloucestershire in the UK. They were taken in July 1996 – more than 27 years ago!

The photo above was taken by Mike Freer, who captioned it as a Ukrainian Su-27S “departing RIAT 96”.

The photo below was taken by Peter Fothergill, who took his photo on 19 July 1996, but only uploaded it to the AirFighters website on 1 September 2020.

Fact #2 : No Evidence Of Pilot Defecting With Su-27

Claims that a senior Ukrainian officer or flight commander defected to Russia with a Su-27 fighter jet loaded with NATO missiles and electronics have been circulating on X (formerly Twitter) since 18 November 2023.

However, none of those who posted the news have actually provided any evidence that such a defection took place.

The defection of a senior Ukrainian pilot would have been major news, especially if he flew a Su-27 fighter jet loaded with NATO missiles and electronics to Russia. Yet, Russian news media have not mentioned such a stunning development.

Recommended : Did US Army Lose + Recover Stolen Sarin Gas Rockets?!

Fact #3 : Ka-52 Pilot Reported A Pilot Defection

The claims appear to be based on a short report by the Russian state news agency, TASS. On 18 November 2023, TASS reported that a Ukrainian military pilot defected to Russia.

According to Alexey Voyevoda – a Ka-52 helicopter pilot who organised the flight, the pilot is now “consulting with the Federal Security Service”.

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. A military pilot of the Ukrainian armed forces has defected to Russia, a Ka-52 helicopter pilot, who organized the flight, told TASS.

“The Ukrainian military pilot is in Russia, consulting with the Federal Security Service,” Alexey Voyevoda said.

Voyevoda explained that he cannot yet disclose the details of this operation.

You will note that the TASS report never said that it was a senior pilot, or a flight commander. It also never said that the pilot flew to Russia with a Su-27 fighter jet, much less one loaded with NATO missiles or electronics.

Fact #4 : Ka-52 Extraction Is Plausible

The Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum B) is a two-seater helicopter, seating a pilot and a gunner side-by-side.

While it is not capable of carrying any passengers, it is possible for a Ka-52 pilot like Alexey Voyevoda to fly into Ukraine without a gunner, to extract a defecting Ukrainian pilot.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Grab Delivery Rider Flew To Singapore To Buy Chicken Rice?!

Did a Grab delivery rider really fly from Thailand to buy chicken rice in Singapore?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Grab Delivery Rider Flew To Singapore To Buy Chicken Rice!

A TikTok video, which allegedly shows a Grab delivery rider flying from Thailand to Singapore, simply to buy chicken rice, has racked up millions of views.

The 27-second video was recorded and posted by a Thai TikToker called Thita Vy, with these comments:

อยากกินขนมโตเกียว พี่เขาจะไปซื้อที่ญี่ปุ่นให้มั้ย 🤓 #วาสนาผู้ใด๋น้อ #grab #grabth

I want to eat Tokyo snacks. Will he go buy it in Japan for me? #grab #grabth

She apparently encountered this Grab delivery rider, while flying from Bangkok to Singapore. At first, she thought someone had ordered food delivery at the airport. But the man allegedly told her that he had been asked by a customer in Thailand to buy chicken rice in Singapore!

The viral video shows the man queuing up for the flight with the signature green Grab thermal bag, while holding a passport with his flight ticket. He is then shown stowing the thermal bag in the plane’s overhead compartment.

Recommended : Massive Crack In Second Penang Bridge Fact Check!

 

Truth : That’s Not (Really) A Grab Delivery Rider!

Now, we all know that chicken rice in Malaysia is tastier (and much cheaper!) than chicken rice in Singapore, Heck, everything is tastier and cheaper in Malaysia! 😉

In fact, Malaysian food is so delicious, someone actually sent a helicopter to collect 36 packets of Nasi Ganja from a famous nasi kandar outlet Ipoh in July 2021! But I digress…

Here is what we know so far about this viral story about chicken rice…

Fact #1 : Video Was Allegedly Recorded At DMK

According to the media outlet, 8world, the TikToker alleged that the incident occurred on 12 October 2023, at the Don Mueang International Airport.

That is plausible because the video shows people boarding an AirAsia flight, and AirAsia flies from the Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Changi International Airport (SIN) several times a day.

Fact #2 : The Man Flew From Bangkok To Singapore

The video shows the man holding a Thai passport, as he is waiting to board the AirAsia flight. It then cuts to the Changi International Airport, where the man is seen checking the green Grab thermal bag.

So the video does appear to show the man taking an AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Singapore. It, however, does not show him actually purchasing any chicken rice.

Fact #3 : Grab Labelled Video As Fictional

After the video went viral, Grab came out to refute the video, calling it “fictional”:

We understand that the fictional video was created by a member of the public independently.

Recommended : Did Penang Bridge Get Hit By Tornado This Morning?!

Fact #4 : Man Was Not A Registered Grab Delivery Rider

In addition, a Grab spokesperson said that it does not offer cross-border food delivery services, and the man in the video was not registered with them as “a delivery partner”:

We do not offer such a service, and the person starring as a delivery partner in the video is not registered with Grab.

It is certainly plausible for rich folks to go to extreme measures to get their favourite foods. For example, Macau tycoon Stanley Ho famously sent 88 Musang King (Mao Shan Wang) durians on a private plane from Singapore to Hong Kong. Note – the durians were from Malaysia. 😉

That said, it doesn’t make sense for the man to put on a Grab uniform, or bring the Grab thermal bag… especially if he isn’t actually a Grab delivery rider!

Fact #5 : Grab Does Not Offer Cross-Border Food Deliveries

Grab said that it does not offer cross-border food deliveries. The only cross-border delivery service Grab offers is its 100+ Cities Delivery service, which is in beta testing.

Even that option only allows users to “order and send food and physical gifts from GrabFood and GrabMart merchant-partners that are available in the recipient’s city within an hour”.

In other words – the food and physical gifts must already be present in the recipient’s city. The only thing that is “cross-border” is the ability to order from another country.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Why Viral Video Does Not Show Bangkok Mall Shooting!

The video which appears to show a gunman shooting at people does not actually the recent Siam Paragon mall shooting in Bangkok!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Viral Video Shows Bangkok Mall Shooting!

People are sharing a video on WhatsApp and social media platforms, claiming that it shows the recent Siam Paragon mall shooting in Bangkok!

Recommended : Did Putin Threaten To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence?!

 

Truth : Viral Video Does Not Show Bangkok Mall Shooting!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Was Posted In Douyin

I traced the video that was posted to Douyin – China’s version of TikTok. The original poster (OP) is a Douyin user called Master ho (@yzz945201314), and here is the direct link to the video.

Fact #2 : Video Was Posted In August 2023

Master ho posted the video on 9 August 2023. The Siam Paragon mall shooting in Bangkok only occurred on 3 October 2023almost two months later.

So there is simply impossible for the viral video to be of the Siam Paragon mall shooting in Bangkok.

Fact #3 : Video Was Recorded In Phuket In June 2023

Even though the viral video was only posted to Douyin in August, it was originally recorded more than a month earlier – on Friday, 28 June 2023.

It was also not recorded in the Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok. Rather, it was recorded in the Domestic Terminal of the Phuket International Airport.

If you look carefully at the video, you will notice the airport check-in counters, and people carrying luggages. The video was obviously recorded at an airport, and not a mall.

Recommended : US Gov Stole $50 Trillion Of Gold + Oil From Iraq?!

Fact #4 : Siam Paragon Shooter Was Only Armed With Pistol

The Siam Paragon mall shooter was an unnamed 14 year-old teenager from the nearby private secondary school – The Essence.

The boy was only armed with a modified Glock 9mm pistol, and did not have any long guns with him.

The shooter in the viral video was not only armed with a handgun, he also had what looked like an automatic rifle.

Fact #5 : It Was An Active Shooter Drill

The viral video does not show any actual crime, or gun violence taking place. It was an emergency security drill to simulate a response to an “active shooter” in the Phuket International Airport. In the photo above, you can even see a man taking photos or videos of the drill!

The drill was called “Full-scal exercise of Phuket International Airport Emergency Plan (PEMEX 2023), and conducted on the second floor of the Domestic Terminal, at around 11 PM – -after boarding for the final departing domestic flight had cleared the area.

The exercise was designed to simulate the coordinated response of security and anti-terrorism personnel to an active shooter taking hostages in the domestic terminal area. Thai agencies and personnel that took part in this PEMEX 2023 exercise included:

  • Thai Provincial Police Region 8
  • Sakhu Police
  • Phuket Airline Operations Committee (AOC)
  • Airports of Thailand ground service company (AOTGA)
  • Airports of Thailand private security company (AOT AVSEC)
  • Vachira Phuket Hospital
  • Phuket Provincial Public Health Office
  • Subdistrict Administrative Organisations (OrBorTor) for Mai Khao, Sakhu, and Thepkrasattri.

Recommended : Did US Army Lose + Recover Stolen Sarin Gas Rockets?!

Fact #6 : There Are Many Clues In The Video

The truth is – anyone who analyses the video will realise that there are many “issues” with this video:

  • the gunshots do not sound like real gunshots
  • gunshots ring out even when the gunman isn’t shooting
  • none of the victims are bleeding
  • the person recording the video is bravely standing up to record the video for almost 2.5 minutes
  • the person recording the video can be heard laughing at around 0:18 in the video
  • at around 1:30, another man can be seen recording the scene from the upper floor

Fact #7 : OP Likely Reposted From A Different Source

The Douyin poster, Master ho, does not appear to be the person recording the video. He mistakenly labelled the location as Songkhla Airport – more accurately known as the Hat Yai International Airport in the Songkhla Province.

泰国宋卡机场发生枪击事件,听说是演习农 因 因 因

A shooting incident occurred at Songkhla Airport in Thailand. It was said that it an exercise.

However, he clearly stated in the description, and his subsequent comments, that it was just a drill.

Whoever copied this video from his Douyin account is certainly aware that the video was of an airport drill, and posted almost 3 months earlier.

The only conclusion we can draw from this is that – whoever copied the video to share in October 2023, is intentionally trying to mislead people.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Infowars Proven Wrong About Biden Face Mask Mandate!

Infowars has been proven wrong about its claims that the Biden Administration will introduce a face mask mandate in September 2023!

 

Claim : Biden Admin Will Order Face Mask Mandate!

People have been sharing an Infowars article which claimed that the Biden Administration will order a new face mask mandate for TSA and airport employees, followed by “full Covid lockdowns“. Here is an excerpt:

Biden Regime to Reinstate COVID-19 Restrictions Beginning with Mask Mandate as “COVID Cases Rise”, Say TSA and Border Patrol Whistleblowers

The Biden regime is preparing to reinstate full COVID-19 lockdowns, beginning with masking mandates for TSA and airport employees reportedly as early as mid-September, Infowars first to report.

Recommended : Is Biden Admin Bringing Back FULL COVID Restrictions?!

 

Infowars Proven Wrong About Biden Face Mask Mandate!

Infowars first claimed on August 18, 2023, that TSA and Border whistleblowers leaked information about a rollout of “full Covid restrictions”, which would include a face mask mandate in September, followed by full Covid lockdowns in December.

Well, it is now October 3, 2023, and there is nary a sight of any face mask mandate for TSA or airport employees in the United States. Infowars has been proven WRONG yet again.

Frankly, that’s hardly surprising. Alex Jones and/or Infowars never actually showed any evidence that the Biden Administration is planning to introduce a face mask mandate for air travel, much less full COVID-19 restrictions which would include lockdowns.

If you watch the video above, you can see that Alex Jones has a ton of paper on his table. Unfortunately, none of them were the leaked memorandum or policy documents from his TSA and Border Patrol whistleblowers.

Rather, they appear to be nothing more than printed copies of news articles! Alex Jones never showed any evidence of the “planned COVID-19 protocols” that were supposed to roll out in the middle of September 2023.

And it’s already October 2023, without a single TSA agent or Border Patrol officer required to wear a face mask in the United States.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccines Caused Stillbirth Surge In Singapore?!

I should point out that lockdowns are, frankly, no longer necessary because a combination of vaccines and prior infections have given people significant protection against COVID-19 infections.

Even though cases are spiking due to new variants (which are more adept at evading protection), hospitals and healthcare workers are no longer overloaded with COVID-19 patients. In fact, there has been multiple waves of new COVID-19 variants, but they have not necessitated new lockdowns.

That’s why the WHO itself declared on 5 May 2023 that COVID-19 as a whole is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Instead, COVID-19 is now considered “an established and ongoing health issue“.

Finally, I should also point out that any order for a face mask mandate on public transportation, including airlines, would be issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, not the TSA or Border Control.

It was the US CDC that issued the first and only face mask mandate for public transportation in the United States (PDF download) on January 29, 2021. The TSA and Border Control had nothing to do with that, but only issued their own directives to comply with the CDC order.

However, the CDC face mask mandate was made “unenforceable” by court order on April 18, 2022, and expired when the Biden Administration ended the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023.

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If the CDC ever issues another face mask mandate, it seems inevitable that it would be challenged in court, and made “unenforceable” by another court order. So what really is this panic over a “future” face mask mandate?

I should also point out that, long before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers all over the world have had no issues wearing face masks to protect themselves and their patients. Seriously, stop being such a wuss.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Are Japanese Airports Empty After Chinese Boycott?!

Are Japanese airports now empty after Chinese tourists boycotted Japan over the release of the radioactive Fukushima waste water?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Japanese Airports Now Empty After Chinese Boycott!

People are sharing a TikTok video which claims that Japanese airports are now empty after Chinese tourists boycott Japan over the release of the radioactive Fukushima waste water!

Chinese tourists start boycotting Japan and Japanese international airport is so empty. 80% tax free stores are shutting down and hundreds employees are losing jobs. Also planned flights are cancelled because of not enough travellers to make airplane take off.

Recommended : Did Fukushima Just Release Black Radioactive Water?!

 

Japanese Airports Are Not Empty + There’s No Chinese Boycott!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS surrounding the release of treated waste water from the Fukushima NPS, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : No Evidence Japanese Airports Are Empty

First, let me just point out that the viral video does not actually show any evidence that Japanese airports are now empty because Chinese tourists boycotted Japan over the release of the Fukushima treated waste water.

There are many videos showing empty Japanese airports like Narita and Haneda during the COVID-19 pandemic. The viral TikTok video could easily be a mishmash of those videos.

Unfortunately, the TikTok video creator covered up the video with text too much for me to trace the original videos. But it looks like a compilation of different videos.

Fact #2 : Chinese Account For 10% Of Travellers To Japan

Even if there is an unofficial Chinese travel boycott to Japan, it wouldn’t make Japanese airports empty, or force shops to close.

According to JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co., Chinese citizens account for 10% of international tourists to Japan in June 2023.

While that makes Chinese tourists the second largest group of foreign tourists to Japan, a complete boycott wouldn’t make Japanese airports look like a ghost town, or force their shops to close down.

Fact #3 : At Least Part Of Video Was Recorded On 12 October

Although the TikTok video creator tried to mask any identifiable features in the video, he/she let something slip.

If you look closely at the date on the flight information display that showed flight cancellations, the date was 12 October.

The year is not listed, but it is only 6 September 2023 today, and the Fukushima-Daiichi NPS only started to release its waste water on 24 August 2023.

Unless the TikTok video creator has a time machine, he/she used at least one video recorded on 12 October from past years. It may not even be as recent as the COVID-19 pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

For example, many airlines cancelled flights in or out of Japan from 11-13 October 2019, when Super Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan.

Recommended : Did Yasuhiro Sonoda Die After Drinking Fukushima Water?!

Fact #4 : Subtitles Suggest Video Was Before Japan Reopened Borders

On the other hand, the final three Chinese subtitles in the video suggest that the video was recorded before Japan reopened its borders on 11 October 2022.

Japan is not opening up the country
Estimate Japan’s tourism industry
And the aviation industry is really going to die.

日本在不开国
估计日本的旅游业
和航空业真的要完蛋

Fact #5 : No Evidence Of Chinese Travel Boycott

In any case, there is no evidence of any Chinese travel boycott, whether official or unofficial. Many airlines are still flying people from China to Japan.

I checked to see how many flights there are from Chinese cities to a single airport from 11 September to 17 September 2023.

Instead of seeing a dearth of flights since there is a Chinese boycott, I counted no less than 158 flights from Chinese cities to Narita International Airport over 1 week!

That’s an average of 22.5 flights per day from China to Narita International Airport. And that’s just one airport in Japan. What boycott???

Recommended : EU + Japan Have Secret Agreement To Re-Export Seafood?!

Fact #6 : Many Narita Airport Shops Do Not Open 24/7

The viral TikTok video appears to show that the Dior and LEGO stores are shuttered and closed at the Narita International Airport. But did they really close down as the video claims?

The truth is – not all shops inside the Narita or Haneda airports open 24/7. Dior at Narita Airport, for example, opens from 7:30 AM until 9 PM daily. The LEGO Store at Narita Airport only opens from from 9 AM until 7 PM.

If you land late at night, you will be able to record a similar video showing both shops closed. Does that mean that they shut down because of a Chinese boycott? Obviously, not.

Fact #7 : This Is Just Fake News About Fukushima

There is no doubt that Japan is facing a LOT of criticism over its release of the Fukushima waste water, even though IAEA and many experts have endorsed the plan.

However, this is just another example of FAKE NEWS being created around the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Here are other examples I fact checked earlier:

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Do You Now Need ETA To Travel To The UK?!

Do you now need ETA – Electronic Travel Authorisation – to travel to the UK?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : You Need ETA To Travel To The UK!

A video clip called New UK travel requirements has gone viral on WhatsApp and social media. It warns that people who travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023, must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

This has led some people who already booked their flights to the UK to panic, as they were not aware of such requirements.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

 

Truth : UK ETA Only Required For Some Countries At The Moment

Here is what you need to know about the UK ETA programme, and what countries are affected.

Fact #1 : Video Is Genuine

First, I would like to point out that the video is genuine, and was originally posted by the UK Home Office on 9 March 2023.

It appears to have been edited and shared by Homely Stay UK on WhatsApp and social media, where it was shared without context, leading to mass panic.

Fact #2 : UK Will Soon Require ETA For Non-Visa Travellers

The warning is, of course, true – the United Kingdom will soon require non-visa travellers to apply and pay for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

The ETA scheme is part of the UK’s plan to fully digitise its borders by 2025. But note that the ETA only applies to travellers who currently do NOT require a visa to travel to the UK.

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) will soon be a requirement for people who do not need a visa to come to the UK. It will give you permission to travel to the UK, and it will be electronically linked to your passport.

You’ll need an ETA to:

  • come to the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study
  • come to the UK for up to 3 months on the Creative Worker visa concession
  • transit through the UK – including if you’re not going through UK border control

Once it is fully implemented, these travellers will not require an ETA to travel to the UK:

  • a British or Irish passport
  • permission to live, work, or study in the UK
  • a visa to enter the UK

Recommended : Did Moderna Try To Cover Up Vaccine Deaths?!

Fact #3 : Only Qatar Affected In November 2023

What the video does not reveal is that only travellers from Qatar must have an ETA to travel to the UK from 15 November 2023 onwards.

No other country is affected by this 15 November 2023 deadline, only Qatar. So stop panicking!

If you’re from another country : You do not need to apply for an ETA now. More nationalities will be added to the scheme later.

Even if you are a resident of Qatar, there is no need to panic – you can only apply for an ETA from 25 October 2023 onwards.

Fact #4 : UK Will Rollout ETA Through 2024

The United Kingdom will slowly roll out its ETA programme throughout 2024.

From 22 February 2024 onwards, travellers from these six countries in the Middle East will need an ETA to travel to the UK:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

Even travellers from these countries do not need to apply until 1 February 2024 onwards.

The UK Home Office has not mentioned what countries will be affected next, but non-visa travellers from all other countries will need an ETA by 2025.

Recommended : Is Joe Biden Reinstating Face Mask + Lockdowns?!

Fact #5 : How Much Does ETA Cost?

Each traveller will require his or her own ETA, including children and babies. Each ETA will cost £10 per applicant.

Fact #6 : How Long Does Each ETA Last?

Your ETA will last for 2 years, and can use it to make multiple visits to the UK. However, you should know that having an ETA does not guarantee entry to the UK.

In addition, the ETA is not transferrable to a new / renewed passport. If your passport expires in less than 2 years, you will need to get a new ETA for your new / renewed passport.

Fact #7 : How To Apply For UK ETA

You can apply for yourself, or on the behalf of other travellers. There are two ways to apply for the UK ETA:

  • using the UK ETA app (not available yet)
  • apply online on GOV.UK (not available yet)

Note : Neither options are available yet, because the first day anyone can apply for a UK ETA is on 25 October 2023.

You will usually get a decision within 3 working days, but there may be delays if the UK government needs to make further checks. Once your ETA is approved, you will receive an email confirmation.

There is no ETA to print or bring with you. The ETA is linked electronically to the passport you applied with. You must therefore travel to the UK using the same passport.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Is Joe Biden Reinstating Face Mask + Lockdowns?!

Is the Biden Administration preparing to reinstate FULL COVID-19 lockdowns, beginning with face mask mandates in mid-September 2023?! Find out what the facts really are!

Updated @ 2023-08-30 : Added video fact check, and other updates
Originally posted @ 2023-08-25

 

Claim : Biden Admin Is Reinstating Full COVID Lockdowns!

People are sharing an article by The Gateway Pundit, which claims that the Biden Administration is preparing to reinstate FULL COVID-19 lockdowns, beginning with face mask mandates in mid-September 2023!

The article is pretty long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Biden Regime to Reinstate COVID-19 Restrictions Beginning with Mask Mandate as “COVID Cases Rise”, Say TSA and Border Patrol Whistleblowers

The Biden regime is preparing to reinstate full COVID-19 lockdowns, beginning with masking mandates for TSA and airport employees reportedly as early as mid-September, Infowars first to report.

Recommended : Died Suddenly : Anti-Vaccination Movie Lies Exposed!

 

No Evidence Biden Administration Is Reinstating COVID Lockdowns!

The Gateway Pundit was basically just summarising what Infowars claimed, and here is what you need to know:

Fact #1 : Infowars Is Notorious Fake News Website

First, let me just point out that Infowars is notorious for posting conspiracy theories and fake news.

  • 2020 study by four universities – Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers, found that Infowars was amongst the top 5 most shared websites for COVID-19 fake news.
  • Infowars is listed as #4 on the Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Websites list.
  • Infowars video editor Josh Owens admitted to intentionally creating misleading videos – “It’s not about truth, it’s not about accuracy — it’s about what’s going to make people click on this video…In essence, we lied.

Both Alex Jones and Infowars have been subjected to multiple lawsuits, losing them one after another. In December 2022, he and the Infowars parent company was ordered to pay about $1.5 billion for spreading lies about the 2002 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

Based on its reputation, everything posted by InfoWars should be considered as FAKE NEWS until proven otherwise.

Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from InfoWars. Here are some of its fake stories that I fact checked earlier:

Fact #2 : Alex Jones + Infowars Provided No Evidence

If you watch the Infowars video where Alex Jones detailed the “exclusive news” that the Biden Administration is planning to bring back FULL COVID-19 restrictions, you may be forgiven for thinking that all those papers on his table are leaked memorandum and policy documents that TSA and Border Patrol whistleblowers provided.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. While there is A TON of papers on his massive table, they appear to be nothing more than printed copies of news articles. Alex Jones never showed any evidence of the “planned COVID-19 protocols” that will roll out in the middle of September 2023.

It’s easy to make outlandish claims, it’s quite another thing to back them with actual evidence. Needless to say, Infowars offered ZERO evidence to back up its claims.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccines Caused Stillbirth Surge In Singapore?!

Fact #3 : Lockdowns Were Necessary Because There Was No Vaccine

In his video, Alex Jones said that his whistleblowers were told to expect “a return to the full COVID protocol of 2020/2021” by December 2023.

The problem with that claim is that many governments implemented lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, because there was no treatment and vaccines were not yet invented or available in sufficient quantities.

Lockdowns were used as a way to limit transmission, and prevent hospitals and healthcare workers from being overloaded with COVID-19 patients.

Now that many people have some protection from a prior infection, or from COVID-19 vaccines, there has been no new need for governments to implement new lockdowns. In fact, there has been multiple waves of new COVID-19 variants, but they have not necessitated new lockdowns.

So the claim that the Biden Administration is going to implement COVID-19 lockdowns in December 2023 over the new Eris EG.5 variant is not supported by the prevailing evidence.

Fact #4 : WHO Declared COVID-19 Is No Longer PHEIC

It is interesting that the whistleblowers mentioned that the World Health Organization (WHO) may declare (an emergency?) over the new EG.5 Eris variant.

For one thing, the WHO itself declared on 5 May 2023 that COVID-19 as a whole is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Instead, COVID-19 is now considered “an established and ongoing health issue“.

Fact #5 : Eris Variant Is Not More Dangerous

The WHO has been monitoring the new EG.5 “Eris” variant, designating it as a “variant of interest”. However, that does not mean Eris is a more dangerous variant.

According to the WHO, the EG. 5 variant has increased prevalence, growth advantage, and immune escape properties, but…

  • presents a low public health risk at a global level, and
  • has no reported changes in disease severity to date

While it is possible that EG.5 / Eris will become the dominant COVID-19 variant moving into the winter months of 2023, it has the same symptoms and severity as past variants.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

Fact #6 : New Vaccines Are Coming In September 2023

Even if the Eris / EG.5 becomes dominant, it is unlikely for the United States to require lockdowns in December 2023, because new COVID-19 vaccines coming in September will offer better protection against it.

From late September 2023 onwards, Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are introducing new COVID-19 vaccines that will target XBB variants. As EG.5 is part of the XBB lineage, the new vaccines are expected to offer better protection against this new variant.

EG.5 is part of the XBB lineage and is more closely related to the XBB variants than it is to previous vaccine strains.

For this reason, the expectation is that the reformulated vaccines that will be available this fall will offer better protection to EG.5 than previous vaccines.

– Justin Lessler, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

In short, there really isn’t a need for new lockdowns, because the improved COVID-19 vaccines are already coming in the fall of 2023.

Fact #7 : Biden Administration Does Not Want New Lockdowns

I should now point out that it is against the Biden Administration’s interest to implement new lockdowns, which would cripple the economy. In fact, the Biden Administration mentioned this when it released its National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (PDF download) in March 2022.

The path forward in the fight against COVID-19 is clear: schools, workers, and workplaces have resources and guidance to prevent shutdowns.

Recommended : Is Biden Admin signing over US sovereignty to WHO?!

Fact #8 : Face Mask Order Would Be Issued By CDC

Finally, I should also point out that any order for a face mask mandate on public transportation, including airlines, would be issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, not the TSA or Border Control.

It was the US CDC that issued the first and only face mask mandate for public transportation in the United States (PDF download) on January 29, 2021. The TSA and Border Control had nothing to do with that, but only issued their own directives to comply with the CDC order.

However, the CDC face mask mandate was made “unenforceable” by court order on April 18, 2022, and expired when the Biden Administration ended the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023.

If the CDC ever issues another face mask mandate, it seems inevitable that it would be challenged in court, and made “unenforceable” by another court order. So what really is this panic over a “future” face mask mandate?

I should also point out that, long before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers all over the world have had no issues wearing face masks to protect themselves and their patients. Seriously, stop being such a wuss.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Fact Check | HealthTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Is Biden Admin Bringing Back FULL COVID Restrictions?!

Is the Biden Administration preparing to bring back FULL COVID-19 restrictions beginning in mid-September 2023?! Find out what the facts really are!

Updated @ 2023-08-24 : Added a fact check video, updated parts of the article
Originally posted @ 2023-08-19

 

Claim : Biden Admin Bringing Back Full COVID Restrictions!

People are sharing an InfoWars article which claims that the Biden Administration is preparing to bring back FULL COVID-19 restrictions, beginning in mid-September 2023!

The article is pretty long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin Preparing to Bring Back FULL Covid Restrictions, Rollout to Begin Mid-September

Whistleblowers from the TSA and Border Patrol have raised the alarm to Infowars that the Biden administration is setting the stage for full Covid lockdowns that will begin with incremental restrictions like masking TSA employees in mid-September.

Recommended : Died Suddenly : Anti-Vaccination Movie Lies Exposed!

 

No Evidence Biden Administration Is Bringing Back COVID Restrictions!

Let’s take a look at what Infowars just claimed, and find out what the facts really are!

Fact #1 : InfoWars Is Notorious Fake News Website

First, let me just point out that InfoWars is notorious for posting conspiracy theories and fake news.

  • 2020 study by four universities – Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers, found that InfoWars was amongst the top 5 most shared websites for COVID-19 fake news.
  • InfoWars is listed as #4 on the Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Websites list.
  • InfoWars video editor Josh Owens admitted to intentionally creating misleading videos – “It’s not about truth, it’s not about accuracy — it’s about what’s going to make people click on this video…In essence, we lied.

Both Alex Jones and InfoWars have been subjected to multiple lawsuits, losing them one after another. In December 2022, he and the InfoWars parent company was ordered to pay about $1.5 billion for spreading lies about the 2002 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

Based on its reputation, everything posted by InfoWars should be considered as FAKE NEWS until proven otherwise.

Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from InfoWars. Here are some of its fake stories that I fact checked earlier:

Fact #2 : Alex Jones + InfoWars Provided No Evidence

If you watch the InfoWars video where Alex Jones detailed the “exclusive news” that the Biden Administration is planning to bring back FULL COVID-19 restrictions, you may be forgiven for thinking that all those papers on his table were leaked memorandum and policy documents that TSA and Border Patrol whistleblowers provided.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. While there is A TON of papers on his massive table, they appear to be nothing more than printed copies of news articles. Alex Jones never showed any evidence of the “planned COVID-19 protocols” that will roll out in the middle of September 2023.

It’s easy to make outlandish claims, it’s quite another thing to back them with actual evidence. Needless to say, InfoWars offered ZERO evidence to back up its claims.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccines Caused Stillbirth Surge In Singapore?!

Fact #3 : Lockdowns Were Necessary Because There Was No Vaccine

In his video, Alex Jones said that his whistleblowers were told to expect “a return to the full COVID protocol of 2020/2021” by December 2023.

The problem with that claim is that many governments implemented lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, because there was no treatment and vaccines were not yet invented or available in sufficient quantities.

Lockdowns were used as a way to limit transmission, and prevent hospitals and healthcare workers from being overloaded with COVID-19 patients.

Now that many people have some protection from a prior infection, or from COVID-19 vaccines, there has been no new need for governments to implement new lockdowns. In fact, there has been multiple waves of new COVID-19 variants, but they have not necessitated new lockdowns.

So the claim that the Biden Administration is going to implement COVID-19 lockdowns in December 2023 over the new Eris EG.5 variant is not supported by the prevailing evidence.

Fact #4 : WHO Declared COVID-19 Is No Longer PHEIC

It is interesting that the whistleblowers mentioned that the World Health Organization (WHO) may declare (an emergency?) over the new EG.5 Eris variant.

For one thing, the WHO itself declared on 5 May 2023 that COVID-19 as a whole is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Instead, COVID-19 is now considered “an established and ongoing health issue“.

Fact #5 : Eris Variant Is Not More Dangerous

The WHO has been monitoring the new EG.5 “Eris” variant, designating it as a “variant of interest”. However, that does not mean Eris is a more dangerous variant.

According to the WHO, the EG. 5 variant has increased prevalence, growth advantage, and immune escape properties, but…

  • presents a low public health risk at a global level, and
  • has no reported changes in disease severity to date

While it is possible that EG.5 / Eris will become the dominant COVID-19 variant moving into the winter months of 2023, it has the same symptoms and severity as past variants.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

Fact #6 : New Vaccines Are Coming In September 2023

Even if the Eris / EG.5 becomes dominant, it is unlikely for the United States to require lockdowns in December 2023, because new COVID-19 vaccines coming in September will offer better protection against it.

From late September 2023 onwards, Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are introducing new COVID-19 vaccines that will target XBB variants. As EG.5 is part of the XBB lineage, the new vaccines are expected to offer better protection against this new variant.

EG.5 is part of the XBB lineage and is more closely related to the XBB variants than it is to previous vaccine strains.

For this reason, the expectation is that the reformulated vaccines that will be available this fall will offer better protection to EG.5 than previous vaccines.

– Justin Lessler, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

In short, there really isn’t a need for new lockdowns, because the improved COVID-19 vaccines are already coming in the fall of 2023.

Fact #7 : Biden Administration Does Not Want New Lockdowns

I should now point out that it is against the Biden Administration’s interest to implement new lockdowns, which would cripple the economy. In fact, the Biden Administration mentioned this when it released its National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (PDF download) in March 2022.

The path forward in the fight against COVID-19 is clear: schools, workers, and workplaces have resources and guidance to prevent shutdowns.

Recommended : Is Biden Admin signing over US sovereignty to WHO?!

Fact #8 : Face Mask Order Would Be Issued By CDC

Finally, I should also point out that any order for a face mask mandate on public transportation, including airlines, would be issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, not the TSA or Border Control.

It was the US CDC that issued the first and only face mask mandate for public transportation in the United States (PDF download) on January 29, 2021. The TSA and Border Control had nothing to do with that, but only issued their own directives to comply with the CDC order.

However, the CDC face mask mandate was made “unenforceable” by court order on April 18, 2022, and expired when the Biden Administration ended the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023.

If the CDC ever issues another face mask mandate, it seems inevitable that it would be challenged in court, and made “unenforceable” by another court order. So what really is this panic over a “future” face mask mandate?

I should also point out that, long before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers all over the world have had no issues wearing face masks to protect themselves and their patients. Seriously, stop being such a wuss.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Fact Check | HealthTech ARP

 

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Did Qatar Airways Pilot Die From Vaccine Mid-Flight?!

Did the pilot of Qatar Airways flight QR579 die suddenly from the COVID-19 vaccine during the flight?!

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Qatar Airways Pilot Died From Vaccine Mid-Flight!

Some people are suggesting or claiming that the pilot of Qatar Airways flight QR579 died suddenly mid-flight due to a COVID-19 vaccine injury or SADS!

William Makis MD : BREAKING NEWS: Another PILOT has died inflight!!

Aug.16, 2023 – Quatar Airways QR579 (DEL-DOH) Delhi to Doha, Quatar diverted to Dubai as 51 year old senior pilot collapsed inflight and died!

2nd pilot death & 4th collapse THIS WEEK! #DiedSuddenly #cdnpoli #ableg

Stew Peters : ANOTHER pilot #DiedSuddenly, MID FLIGHT. Qatar Airlines vaxxed all their pilots, evidently.

#PureBloods will rule the world one day soon.

Jack Straw : BREAKING NEWS: Another PILOT has died inflight!!

Aug.16, 2023 – Quatar Airways QR579 (DEL-DOH) Delhi to Doha, Quatar diverted to Dubai as 51 year old senior pilot collapsed inflight and died! 2nd pilot death & 4th collapse THIS WEEK!

Recommended : Died Suddenly : Anti-Vaccination Movie Lies Exposed!

 

No Evidence Qatar Airways Pilot Died From Vaccine Mid-Flight!

It’s now tradition for anti-vaccination activists to blame all sudden deaths or illnesses on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here are the reasons why this is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by anti-vaccination activists…

Fact #1 : Qatar Airways Pilot Was Passenger Aboard QR579

First, let me just point out that the pilot who died aboard Qatar Airways flight QR579 was not the senior pilot for that flight. He was aboard the flight as a passenger.

To be clear – Qatar Airways flight QR579 was never in any danger during the tragic incident. It was not one of its two pilots who had a medical emergency and died.

Fact #2 : He Died Onboard Qatar Airways QR579

On August 16, 2023, Qatar Airways flight QR579 took off from Delhi, heading towards Doha. 30 minutes into its flight, the Airbus A350-900 aircraft suddenly turned left and headed for Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it landed 30 minutes later.

Later, it was reported that the aircraft with the registration of A7-ALM diverted to Dubai due to a medical emergency – a senior pilot who was travelling as a passenger, suddenly fell critically ill onboard.

Despite a swift response and medical assistance onboard flight QR579, he could not be saved. He was declared dead on arrive at Dubai International Airport.

Fact #3 : The Pilot Allegedly Died From Cardiac Arrest

The Qatar Airways pilot was a 51 year-old man of Indian origin, who had flown SpiceJet’s inaugural flight in 2005:

The pilot had worked with Alliance Air and spent 17 years in SpiceJet. He had operated SpiceJet’s first flight, Delhi-Ahmedabad, on May 23, 2005. Last year he had joined Qatar Airways where he was flying the Boeing 777.

A colleague who worked with the pilot for several years expressed shock, stating that “He was very fit and his untimely demise has come as a big shock for everyone who knew him“. That quote is being used to claim or suggest that the pilot “must have” died from a COVID-19 vaccine injury of some sort.

There is no evidence that his death has anything to do with COVID-19 vaccines. And certainly, people pushing those claims offered ZERO evidence to back up their “expert opinions”.

Officially, Qatar Airways has not commented on the death of the pilot. But India’s Zee News reported that the pilot was ascertained to have died from cardiac arrest.

While it is likely that the pilot died from sudden cardiac arrest, I would caution that the pilot’s official cause of death remains unknown.

Until and unless his family and/or Qatar Airways or the Dubai authorities reveal his official cause of death, any claim that he died from this or that cause should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Recommended : Did Sinead O’Connor Die Suddenly From Vaccine / Suicide?!

Fact #4 : Cardiac Arrest Is Common

While anti-vaccination activists claim that there is a sudden surge of “untimely deaths” from cardiac arrest, it has long been a major cause of death… long before the COVID-19 vaccines were invented.

The United States alone records over half a million cases of sudden cardiac arrest cases every year – an incidence of about 130 per 100,000 individuals per year. Many people have undiagnosed heart conditions that may not produce noticeable symptoms in daily life, but could result in sudden cardiac arrest at any time.

A 2012 study discovered that people in Southern India who died from sudden cardiac arrest were 5-8 years younger compared to people in the western hemisphere.

  • 10% of all deaths in Southern India were caused by sudden cardiac death
  • almost half were 60 years-old or younger
  • many were diagnosed with heart disease
  • over 80% had at least one risk factor for coronary artery disease – hypertension, diabetes, or smoking
  • they were generally 5-8 years younger than similar cases in the western hemisphere

Fact #5 : Unknown If Qatar Airways Pilot Was Vaccinated

Despite suggestions that the Qatar Airways pilot was fully-vaccinated, there isn’t any actual evidence that he ever received the COVID-19 vaccine. We don’t even know his name, much less his COVID-19 vaccination status!

Qatar Airways also never mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for its pilots or its aircrew. Instead, pilots and aircrew were offered two options – get vaccinated, or undergo a COVID-19 test every few days.

[H]ow did Qatar Airways achieve 100 per cent crew vaccination without threatening dismissal against vaccine-hesitant workers?

Unlike the United States, cabin crew in Qatar weren’t immediately prioritised for the vaccine and supply issues meant that Qatar hasn’t had a surplus of vaccines that are going to waste either.

But when crew did become eligible, they had a simple choice – get vaccinated or have an invasive COVID-19 test every few days to prove your negative status.

That said – the pilot is likely fully-vaccinated. He only joined Qatar Airways in 2022. Previously, he was with SpiceJet. While it is unknown whether SpiceJet has a vaccine mandate for its aircrew, SpiceJet is promoting the fact that its crew members and ground personnel are fully-vaccinated and masked.

Even so, I should point out that COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in India, and the pilot may possibly have left SpiceJet over the vaccination mandate (if there’s one). So it is still possible that the pilot was not vaccinated against COVID-19. We simply do not know his vaccination status for sure. Heck, we don’t even know his name!

Until and unless the pilot’s family (or Qatar Airways) reveals his COVID-19 vaccination status, anyone who tells you that the unnamed pilot was vaccinated or otherwise, is likely lying to you. None of us have any evidence of that.

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Fact #6 : Vaccine Side Effects Appear Within Hours / Days

Even if the Qatar Airways pilot was fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, he would have received his doses more than a year ago! It is quite impossible for him to suffer from vaccine side effects, because they appear within hours or days, not months later.

Mild side effects like injection site pain, fever, muscle ache, headache, lethargy develop within minutes to hours of the vaccination.

Anaphylaxis develops within minutes, while other severe adverse reactions like myocarditis and VITT develop within days or weeks.

The spike proteins produced by the COVID-19 vaccines also do not stick around for months. If these spike proteins are permanent (as antivaxxers claim), we would have lifelong immunity.

Your own immune system will identify the spike proteins as foreign, and destroy them within a matter of days, although some may last for up to a few weeks. This is part of how vaccines teach your immune system to identify the enemy and destroy it.

Fact #7 : Claims Of COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries Often Proven False

Most claims of sudden deaths / injuries due to the COVID-19 vaccine have been proven false. Here is the latest dozen of other false sudden death claims!

Will these anti-vaccination activists apologise for lying to you? Nope! They will just move on to the next death or tragedy…

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

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Long Queues At KLIA From Immigration Work To Rule Protest?!

Are travellers queuing up for hours at KLIA after immigration officers started a Work to Rule protest?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Long Queues At KLIA Due To Immigration Work To Rule Protest!

People are sharing a video, claiming that it shows long queues at KLIA after immigration officers started a Work to Rule protest, over recent accusations of corruption!

Work to rule being enforced by immigration officers in KLIA as protest over the recent issue. Terrible if true! 🫢🧐🤨🤨🤨

Here’s a You Tuber telling us his story at the KLIA today. 😰😥😱

In the 1 minute and 22 seconds long video, a foreign tourist is seen complaining that he had to spend 2 hours getting through immigration at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

After waiting in line for an hour, he was sent to an immigration office where he had to wait for another hour before he was questioned. Only after an extensive questioning was the tourist released with a 90-day pass.

Recommended : Malaysia Airlines Passengers Won’t Need To Turn Off Devices!

 

No Evidence Long Queues At KLIA Are Due To Immigration Protest!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why!

Fact #1 : Fake News Is Based On Immigration Corruption Claims

First, I should point out that this fake news is based on the recent accusations of corruption involving immigration officers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Here is a quick recap.

On Thursday, 29 June 2023, two ladies arrived at KLIA from Shenzhen, China – a senior official of a Chinese government-owned TV station, and her personal assistant.

The senior official was duly cleared and allowed entry by the Immigration Department, but her personal assistant was denied entry, and allegedly told that there were discrepancies in her travel documents. The lady was allegedly told that she would need to pay several thousand ringgit to be allowed to enter Malaysia.

The Chinese TV official called up the consulate general of Malaysia in Guangzhou to seek help. The consulate general’s staff then contacted Malaysia Tourism Minister Tiong King Sing, who went to KLIA to investigate the matter. The personal assistant was later allowed to enter Malaysia, after the Minister intervened.

A day later, Tiong claimed that there was a “culture of corruption” within the Immigration Department’s handling of foreign visitors at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

I feel it is high time that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) enter KLIA in full force to probe what is actually happening in this major entry point.

I’m grateful that my presence there managed to uncover an embarrassing situation for the country, in which there is a culture of corruption among a number of officers as well as chronic abuse of power at the country’s major gateway.

Tiong also said that he learnt that some immigration officers would demand up to RM3,000 to free tourists from detention, and he would be sending the information to the MACC.

They would demand RM3,000 to enable the tourists to go through a ‘special lane’ and RM12,000 for visa processing costs.

Recommended : Beware – KL Police To Conduct Massive Traffic Op In July 2023!

Fact #2 : Unknown If Work To Rule Is Happening

I should also point out that the term, work to rule, refers to a situation where employees strictly follow their working hours, and do no more than the minimum required by their contract or job.

By that definition, it is unknown if any Immigration officer in KLIA is currently “protesting” through work to rule measures. They could simply be seen as doing their jobs, but nothing beyond that.

Fact #3 : Video Was Taken In May 2022

While it is impossible to know whether immigration officers are protesting through work to rule action, I can tell you that the viral video has absolutely nothing to do with the current controversy involving Malaysian Immigration officers at KLIA.

That’s because the video was originally taken in May 2022. The YouTuber in the video is called Ken Abroad, and he posted the video on 22 May 2023, with the title, “I Almost Got Denied Entry To Malaysia 🇲🇾“.

In the video, he detailed his journey from his home in Germany to Malaysia, via Turkey. When he landed in KLIA over a year ago, he spent more than 2 hours getting through immigration.

But notably – Ken Abroad was released without paying a single cent to immigration officers. Neither did he accuse them of corruption.

Fact #4 : Video Was Edited

The viral video originally had a long runtime of 15 minutes and 51 seconds, but was cropped to just 1 minute and 22 seconds.

Whoever cut this video to share on WhatsApp and social media platforms would obviously be aware that this was originally posted more than a year ago on YouTube.

Recommended : Prevention of Terrorism Act : Does POTA Ban News Sharing?!

Fact #5 : Complaints About KLIA Queues Are Perennial

Complaints about long queues at KLIA immigration are perennial. If you check social media, you can see people complaining about this months and years ago, even before the COVID-19 pandemic!

Such queues are also not limited to KLIA immigration counters. They have been documented in airports all over the world, especially in very busy airports (like Heathrow and LAX), and during busy times (when multiple flights land at around the same time).

Just because there is a queue at the immigration counters does not mean there is any industrial work to rule action going on. Often, it just means that there is a large number of people queuing up to get processed.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

Timothy Shim gives us the low-down on the 5 strategies for negotiating airfare discounts with SAP Concur!

 

Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

Whether it’s a short hop to a neighboring city for a client meeting or an international conference halfway around the globe, airfare costs can significantly dent your company’s budget. That’s where systems like SAP Concur step in.

From leveraging data to setting up effective travel policies, we will explore five strategies for negotiating airfare discounts with SAP Concur. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what SAP Concur is and how it functions as a critical part of your corporate travel management toolkit.

5 Minute Read

  • Use SAP Concur’s robust reporting tools to gain insights into your company’s travel patterns and use this information to identify potential areas for negotiation with airlines.
  • Centralize your company’s travel bookings with SAP Concur and present your travel volume data to airlines when negotiating for discounts.
  • Use SAP Concur to plan and book corporate travel in advance, demonstrating your commitment to airlines and leveraging this in your negotiations for better rates.
  • Track airfare fluctuations with SAP Concur and use your active engagement with market trends to secure better deals from airlines.
  • Leverage SAP Concur to manage and track your company’s relationships with airlines, leveraging your loyalty and long-term commitment to negotiate for ongoing discounts.

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5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

SAP Concur is a cloud-based solution integrating travel, expense, and invoice management into one unified system. It aims to simplify these processes and provide a seamless, user-friendly experience.

Travel Management with SAP Concur

Concur Travel is a feature within the platform that allows businesses to manage and streamline their corporate travel processes. It offers a comprehensive range of services, including online booking tools, travel management services, and mobile applications.

These services aid companies in reducing costs, enforcing travel policies, and providing travelers with a smooth and efficient experience.

Expense and Invoice Management

Concur Expense and Concur Invoice are additional features to simplify the expense and invoice management processes. Concur Expense lets employees quickly capture and submit expense reports from any location.

That does much to reduce errors and improve compliance. Concur Invoice automates invoice processing, helping businesses manage spending and cash flow more effectively.

SAP Concur’s Impact on Business Operations

By integrating travel, expense, and invoice management, SAP Concur gives businesses visibility and control over their spending. It also offers valuable insights into spending patterns, helping companies make informed decisions and save money.

Whether a business has a small travel team or a large multinational operation, SAP Concur is designed to adapt to unique needs and deliver tangible benefits.

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Strategy #1: Understand Your Travel Data

The first step to effective negotiation is knowing your ground, and in the context of airfare discounts, that means understanding your travel data. SAP Concur shines here, providing businesses comprehensive insights into their travel habits.

Key Data Points to Focus On

First, pay close attention to your company’s frequently traveled routes, preferred airlines, and ticket classes. Focus on asking the right questions to provide the most actionable insights for your business. For example;

  • Which routes are your employees traveling the most?
  • Which airlines are they choosing?
  • Are they booking economy, business, or first-class tickets?

These data points provide a solid foundation for negotiation discussions with airlines.

Analyzing Trends and Patterns

SAP Concur allows you to analyze trends and patterns in your travel data over time. For instance, you may find that your employees travel more frequently during certain times of the year or prefer specific airlines for international flights. These patterns can provide leverage when negotiating airfare discounts.

Translating Data into Negotiation Power

Armed with this data, you can approach airlines with confidence. Showcase your loyalty to specific airlines, emphasize the volume of business you bring, and demonstrate your understanding of your company’s travel needs.

When airlines see that you know your travel patterns and preferences, they’re more likely to consider offering discounts.

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur’s reporting tools to gain a comprehensive overview of your company’s travel patterns.
  • Analyze the data to identify trends, such as the most frequently traveled routes, the most used airlines, and peak travel periods.
  • Use this information to identify potential areas for negotiation with airlines.

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Strategy #2: Leverage Your Travel Volume

Once you’ve grasped your travel data, it’s time to focus on volume. As with many things in business, higher volumes can often lead to better deals, and air travel is no different.

With SAP Concur, you can aggregate your travel data to demonstrate the volume of your bookings, forming a compelling case for discounts.

Consolidating Travel Bookings

It’s essential to consolidate your company’s travel bookings as much as possible. Instead of allowing your employees to book flights individually, use SAP Concur to centralize your travel bookings.

This simplifies the booking process and allows you to negotiate with airlines as a single, high-volume customer.

Presenting Your Case to Airlines

When you approach airlines with a substantial volume of business, you’re in a much stronger negotiating position. Airlines are always looking for consistent, reliable customers. Showing them that you provide significant business can encourage them to offer you better rates.

The Win-Win Situation

By offering airlines a substantial and steady volume of business, you’re creating a win-win situation. The airline gets a reliable source of revenue, and in return, your company gets more favorable airfare rates. This symbiotic relationship is the heart of effective negotiation.

Leveraging SAP Concur’s Tools

SAP Concur provides the tools necessary to leverage your travel volume effectively. This platform is an essential partner in your negotiation journey, from consolidating bookings to presenting comprehensive reports.

Using SAP Concur to showcase your travel volume, you can confidently negotiate airfare discounts and ensure your company gets the best possible deals.

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur to centralize all your company’s travel bookings.
  • Make a report showcasing your company’s travel volume.
  • Present this report to airlines when negotiating discounts.

Strategy #3: Utilize Advanced Booking

We’ve all heard the saying, “The early bird gets the worm,” right? In our case, replace “worm” with “discount.” Being an early bird can be a real game-changer when bagging those sweet airfare deals. And here’s where SAP Concur comes in handy, making advanced booking a breeze.

Think about it – when airlines see steady, early bookings, they’re more willing to give us a break with some discounts. Plus, it’s a stress reliever! You get to avoid the last-minute scramble for tickets, and it’s easier to plan your budget when you know the costs upfront.

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How SAP Concur Helps With Advanced Bookings

SAP Concur is like that incredibly organized friend we all wish we had. With its advanced booking feature, planning your corporate travel well in advance is simple. You can book flights, reserve hotels, and even arrange ground transport, all in one place.

The Art of Negotiation with Advanced Booking

But let’s get back to the discounts. Advanced booking can give you a leg up when negotiating with airlines. Showing them that your company is organized and committed to booking in advance can be a persuasive argument for a lower rate.

Creating a Win-Win Situation (Again!)

Just like with travel volume, advanced booking creates a win-win situation. The airlines have the security of early and regular bookings, and you get to bag those tempting discounts. It’s like a beautiful dance, and SAP Concur is your dance partner, guiding you through each step.

So, remember to plan. It’s not just about saving your sanity; it’s about saving dollars. Advanced booking with SAP Concur? That’s a smart move.

Actionable Tips

● Use SAP Concur’s booking tools to plan and book corporate travel well in advance.
● Track the cost savings achieved through advanced booking.
● Highlight your company’s commitment to early booking when negotiating with airlines.

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Strategy #4: Implement Dynamic Pricing

Next up on our list of strategies is dynamic pricing. That might sound like some sort of jargon straight out of a business textbook, but trust me, it’s more complex than it sounds. It’s all about adaptability, flexibility, and being ready to ride the ever-changing airfare prices.

Airfare prices are like a rollercoaster—they go up, down, and make sudden turns. As a savvy business, we must monitor these fluctuations and use them to our advantage. When we know that prices are changing, we can swoop in and grab those discounts when they pop up.

This is where SAP Concur struts its stuff. It allows us to track these price changes and alerts us when prices drop. It’s like having a vigilant guard dog that barks (or, in this case, sends notifications) when a good deal is on the horizon.

Dynamic Pricing and Negotiation

When you’re at the negotiating table with airlines, being able to talk about dynamic pricing can give you an edge. It shows airlines that you’re not only aware of the market trends but you’re also ready to react to them. This can make them more willing to offer special deals and discounts.

Creating Yet Another Win-Win

By now, you’ve probably noticed a pattern—we’re all about creating win-win situations. With dynamic pricing, the airlines get a customer who’s engaged and responsive to the market, and you get to save some of those hard-earned dollars.

So, let’s embrace the rollercoaster of dynamic pricing. We can ride the ups and downs with great discounts with SAP Concur. Remember, being adaptable in business is a virtue; in this case, it can save you money!

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur’s tracking features to keep an eye on airfare fluctuations.
  • Book immediately to secure the lower rate when you notice a significant price drop.
  • Mention your dynamic pricing strategy during negotiations with airlines to show that you’re an active and engaged customer.

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Strategy #5: Establish Long-Term Partnerships

Last but not least is the power of long-term partnerships. We’re not just talking about fleeting, one-off deals here. No, we’re looking at the big picture—establishing relationships with airlines that can lead to ongoing discounts.

Loyalty goes a long way in business, and air travel is no different. Airlines appreciate customers who stick around. Knowing they can count on your company’s regular patronage gives them stability.

This is where SAP Concur’s ability to track and manage your travel data shines. It helps you keep track of your company’s relationship with each airline and makes it easier to demonstrate your loyalty when negotiating for better rates.

Using Partnerships to Negotiate Discounts

When you’ve established a long-term relationship with an airline, you’re no longer just another customer—you’re a valued partner. This gives you a significant advantage when negotiating airfare discounts.

Airlines are more likely to give better rates to customers who will continue to bring them business.

The Long Game Wins

Establishing long-term partnerships is like playing the long game. Yes, it requires commitment and consistency, but the payoff can be substantial. Airlines get the assurance of your loyalty, and you get the benefit of ongoing discounts. It’s a classic win-win.

Actionable Tips

● Use SAP Concur to track your company’s relationship with each airline.
● Share this data with airlines to demonstrate your loyalty and commitment.
● Leverage your long-term relationship with airlines to negotiate for ongoing discounts.

Final Thoughts: Turning Strategies into Savings with SAP Concur

We’ve certainly covered some ground! From understanding your travel data, leveraging your travel volume, utilizing advanced booking, and implementing dynamic pricing, to establishing long-term partnerships, it’s clear that there are multiple strategies for negotiating airfare discounts.

And guess what? SAP Concur has been our faithful companion, offering us the tools and features to implement these strategies effectively. It’s more than a travel, expense, and invoice management platform.

It’s a powerful ally that helps us navigate the tricky terrain of corporate travel and airfare negotiation.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Who Captured This Amazing Rainbow Photo At 30,000 Feet?!

Was this viral photo of an amazing full circle rainbow captured by a pilot flying at 30,000 feet?!

Take a look at the photo, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : This Rare Rainbow Was Captured By Pilot At 30,000 Feet!

People are sharing what they claim is a rare rainbow captured by Lloyd J Ferraro, a pilot flying over the Pacific Ocean at at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Rainbow at 30,000 Feet: Pilot’s Photo Captures Rare and Breathtaking Sight

A rare sight was captured from the cockpit of a commercial airplane as pilot Lloyd J Ferraro took a stunning photograph of a complete rainbow from an altitude of 30,000 feet. The breathtaking image shows the colors of the rainbow in their full spectrum, arching gracefully across the sky.

Rainbows have long been a source of fascination for people around the world, with their vivid colors and seemingly magical appearance. While rainbows can be seen from the ground after a storm, it is much rarer to witness a complete rainbow from the vantage point of an airplane.

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Truth : Rare Rainbow Was Not Captured By Pilot At 30,000 Feet!

This is yet another example of FAKE PHOTOS circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Photo Was Not Taken By Lloyd J Ferraro

Lead Stories spoke to the pilot, Lloyd J Ferraro, on March 1, 2023. He has seen circular rainbows while flying, but he did not take that viral photo.

Ferraro shared that both he and his colleague copied and shared the rainbow image on social media, but he did not take the photo himself.

Fact #2 : Circular Rainbows Are Not Particularly Rare

Lloyd J Ferraro said that full-circle rainbows are not as rare as people think, and people do not need to be in an airplane to see one – a full circle rainbow can be observed from any high vantage point, like a mountain top.

In fact, NASA featured this full circle rainbow photo as its Astronomy Picture of the Day on December 27, 2022. That amazing photo of a full circle rainbow was taken using a drone by Swiss photographer Lukas Moesch over the Lofoten islands of Norway.

NASA also explained why full circle rainbows are more commonly seen from the air, instead of the ground.

Have you ever seen an entire rainbow? From the ground, typically, only the top portion of a rainbow is visible because directions toward the ground have fewer raindrops. From the air, though, the entire 360-degree circle of a rainbow is more commonly visible.

Pictured here, a full-circle rainbow was captured over the Lofoten Islands of Norway in September by a drone passing through a rain shower.

An observer-dependent phenomenon primarily caused by the internal reflection of sunlight by raindrops, the rainbow has a full diameter of 84 degrees. The Sun is in the exact opposite direction from the rainbow’s center. As a bonus, a second rainbow that was more faint and color-reversed was visible outside the first.

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Fact #3 : Rainbow Photo Originated In Xiaohongshu

Lloyd J Ferraro could not have been the creator of the photo, because the viral photo of the rare circular rainbow circulated much earlier.

It appeared to have been posted in the Facebook group, Beautiful Nature, as part of a 5-photo collection of rainbows on February 6, 2023. After that, it went viral with many people sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.

But a closer examination of these photos will show a digital watermark at their lower right corners. These photos were created by someone with the user ID of 5463530014 on the Chinese social shopping platform Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book).

Fact #4 : Professor Labelled Rainbow Photo As Fake

Lead Stories asked Roland Stull, a professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of British Columbia to analyse the photo. He labelled it as a fake rainbow photo, and explained why:

It is fake. Rainbows form a circle centered around the shadow of the photographer or the camera; namely, looking away from the sun.

In the photo you attached, based on the sides of the clouds that are illuminated by the sun, the rainbow incorrectly appears to be in the direction of the sun, not opposite to the sun. Also, the rainbow circle itself appears to be incorrectly touching the location in the sky where the sun is (even though it is hidden behind a cloud), instead of the circle being centered on a shadow opposite to the sun (i.e., centered around the “anti-solar” point).

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Fact #5 : Rainbow Photo Most Likely Generated By AI

It is not possible to know if the fake rainbow photo was digitally drawn by an artist, or created by AI image generators.

However, due to the numerous examples of similar rainbow photos with the same tone and colour palette, they were all likely generated by text-to-image generators like Midjourney, DALL-E or Stable Diffusion.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysia Airlines Passengers Won’t Need To Turn Off Devices!

Passengers on Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MASwings won’t need to switch off personal devices during take-off and landing! Here is what you need to know!

 

Malaysia Airlines Passengers Won’t Need To Turn Off Devices!

On Tuesday, 28 June 2023, the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) announced that its airlines – Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, and MASwings – are the first airlines to enable Gate-to-Gate connectivity for passengers by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

From 1 July 2023 onwards, passengers on three airlines can keep their personal devices switched on at all times. There is no longer the need to switch off your phone, tablet, laptop, or other devices, or stow them during take-off or landing.

As long as those devices must have their wireless connectivity turned off using the “Airplane Mode” or “Flight Mode“, you can continue to use them during take-off, or landing. This allows you to continue working on your laptop, or watch downloaded content on your phone or tablet during the entire journey, without interruption.

With this new regulatory approval, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, and MASwings are the first airlines to allow Gate-to-Gate connectivity for passengers departing from Malaysia.

We are committed to providing exceptional customer service and innovative travel experiences which places customers at the heart of everything we do.

By enabling gate-to-gate connectivity across all our airlines, it allows passengers to stay connected throughout their journey with us; whether it’s to keep their loved ones updated on the move or even get some work done during their flight.

– MAG CEO Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi

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Malaysia Airlines To Provide Free Wi-Fi For 2H 2023!

Malaysia Airlines also announced that it will provide limited free Wi-Fi connectivity to its Business Suite, Business Class, and Enrich Platinum (regardless of ticket class) passengers from 1 July until 31 December 2023.

Each passenger will be given up to 100 MB of free Wi-Fi data per sector to use, at a speed of up to 512 kbps. This free Wi-Fi offer will be made available on 20 Malaysia Airlines aircraft.

Beyond that free limit, passengers can continue to surf the Internet through its pay-per-use Wi-Fi offering. In addition, all passengers can access its wireless in-flight entertainment system through its web-based MHStudio service.

As part of our connectivity strategy, we will be actively expanding the number of our aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi to provide an improved in-flight experience to our valued customers. With a focus on safety, comfort, and convenience, we are dedicated to making air travel more accessible and enjoyable for all of our passengers.

We will continue to invest in innovative technologies and services to meet the changing needs and provide comfort to our passengers as guests to our ‘home’.

– MAG CEO Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi

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The wireless connectivity onboard MAS aircraft, and passenger ability to use their devices from Gate-to-Gate, will come in handy with the refreshed Boeing 737 cabin, which feature lightweight seats that lack in-flight entertainment screens.

Instead, these new seats will come with a personal device holder, and a pair of USB Type A and USB Type C charging ports.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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World of Warplanes : Get FREE Curtiss XP-31 Pack!

The Curtiss XP-31 Pack for World of Warplanes is FREE to download and keep for a Limited Time!

Find out how to get it FREE, and tell your friends!

Don’t forget to LIKE the Tech ARP Facebook page or Telegram channel to get these updates quickly!

 

World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes is an aerial combat MMO action game set in the Golden Age of military aviation.

Throwing players into a never-ending battle for dominance of the skies, the game allows aircraft enthusiasts to pursue full-scale careers as virtual pilots, earning their wings in intense 12-vs-12 battles where supremacy in the air depends on not only a fast trigger finger, but also coordinated teamwork.

Five Aircraft types

Learn air combat skills with five different aircraft types, each of which is unique in its configuration, role, and behavior in battle.

Aircraft of different nations

Choose any aircraft you like from seven different nations—U.S.S.R., Germany, U.S.A., U.K., France, China, or Japan—and enter a battle.

Aircraft configurations

Upgrade your aircraft with various weapons, engines, equipment, and consumables.

Maps and layouts

In World of Warplanes, battles unfold at picturesque in-game locations. Although most of them are original, the maps are based on real landscape types that can be found in different corners of the planet.

 

World of Warplanes : Curtiss XP-31 Pack

This bundle includes the American Curtiss XP-31 Tier II premium fighter. This aircraft is armed with four machineguns, which make it a formidable opponent in the sky!

In addition, you will receive days of Premium account, and a stock of supply crates in which you can find days of Premium Account, Premium aircraft, gold, Free XP, experimental equipment, and much more.

You will also get a thematic emblem that gives a bonus (crew experience in each battle: +2%)!

This bundle contains:

  • Curtiss XP-31, USA Tier II fighter
  • 1 Hangar slot
  • 1 crew trained to 100%
  • 1 emblem
  • 3 days of Premium Account
  • 1 Supply crate

Note : This DLC is not compatible with an account created outside Steam.

 

World of Warplanes + Curtiss XP-31 Pack : How To Get Them FREE!

Make sure you follow these steps to get this game and the DLC for FREE by February 22, 2023.

  1. Log into your existing Steam account, or create a new account.
  2. Go to the World of Warplanes page on Steam.
  3. Click on the Play Game button.
  4. Go to the World of Warplanes – Curtiss XP-31 Pack page on Steam.
  5. Click on the Download button.

That’s it! They are both now added to your Steam account, and you can download and install them anytime after this.

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did FedEx + Southwest Jets Almost Collide In Video?!

Did a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Airlines jet almost collide in a viral video?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Video Shows FedEx + Southwest Jets Almost Colliding!

People are sharing a video clip that claims to show a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Airlines jet almost colliding!

This is video from the FedEx – Southwest runway incident from last week.

If this doesn’t make you tense up and cringe nothing will. The people on that SouthWest flight have no clue how close to death they came.

Insane.

Real incident at Austin Feb 4, 2023.
Fedex 😱 Southwest Airlines. Near Miss!

Read more : Did Russia Shoot Down NATO Jets + Helicopters In Ukraine?!

 

Truth : FedEx + Southwest Jet Near Collision Video Is From Game!

This is yet another example of MISINFORMATION circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Fact #1 : FedEx + Southwest Jets Did Almost Collide

First, let me confirm that a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Airlines jet did almost collide on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

In that incident, air traffic controllers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport cleared an arriving FedEx Boeing 767 cargo plane to lane, while simultaneously clearing a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 to take off using the same runway!

Air traffic controllers first cleared the Southwest Airlines jet to take-off from runway 18 Left, when the FedEx jet was 3.2 nautical miles (6 km) away.

When the FedEx jet was 2.19 nautical miles (4 km) from the airport, controllers told the FedEx crew to land on the same 18 Left runway.

The FedEx crew later realised that they were about to overfly the Southwest plane, and quickly aborted their landing while telling the Southwest crew to abort their takeoff.

According to Jennifer Homendy, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the two planes almost collided, with a separation of “less than 100 feet (30 metres)”.

I’m very proud of the FedEx flight crew and that pilot. They saved, in my view, 128 people from a potential catastrophe. It was very close, and we believe less than 100 feet.

The near catastrophe apparently happened because the Austin airport is not equipped with Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE). Air traffic controller could see the FedEx jet on radar, but could not see the Southwest Airlines jet taxiing on the ground.

The ASDE system was important in preventing a runway collision in January 2023, between taxiing and departing aircraft at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport.

Fact #2 : That Video Was From A Video Game

While the incident was real, the video isn’t real. The video was created using the 2020 computer game, Microsoft Flight Simulator by Monster21 who posted it on YouTube and TikTok.

On his YouTube channel, Monster21 explicitly pointed out that the video was created on Microsoft Flight Simulator, with the title, “Real incident at Austin on Microsoft Flight Simulator“.

On TikTok though, he posted it with a shorter title of “Real incident at Austin Feb 4th 2023“, but did include a #microsoftflightsimulator2020 hashtag.

Unfortunately, it is being shared as if the video is genuine, just like these other videos created by computer games:

Fact #3 : Video Does Not Accurately Simulate The Event

While the video creator was simulating the close call between the FedEx and Southwest jets based on flight data, it isn’t an accurate depiction.

The video showed that it was a bright and clear day. That’s not accurate because the incident happened at around 6:50 AM. Dawn only broke at 6:55 AM in Austin, Texas on February 4, 2023.

There was also fog at the airport that day. So it would have been rather dark and foggy at the same time, with poor visibility.

That would explain why the FedEx crew did not spot the spot the Southwest jet lining up on the runway much earlier.

Fact #4 : Audio Was Genuine, But Edited

While the video is not real and is just a simulation, the audio recording is genuine albeit edited.

The air traffic control audio recording was made available through Live ATC of Austin-Bergstrom Airport’s traffic control, and began at around 6:47 AM.

The full audio recording lasts just over 6 minutes, but was edited to just over 2 minutes by Haemaker to remove dead spots. As he noted – “It did NOT happen this fast“.

The video used the shorter, edited Haemaker audio recording, so it sounds more dramatic than what really happened in real life. Here is how USA Today explains the audio recording:

The FedEx pilot asks the tower if the plane is confirmed to land, to which the controller responds yes and lets the pilot know about the Southwest flight taking off. 

About 30 seconds later, the controller asks the Southwest flight to confirm if it is “on the roll.” To which the pilot immediately responds, “Rolling now.”

After about 20 seconds of silence, the tower says, “Southwest abort. FedEx is on the go.”

There’s no response, and nearly nine seconds later, the tower tells the Southwest flight to turn right when able. Southwest immediately responds by saying, “Negative.”

The tower comes back about 17 seconds later and tells the FedEx pilot to climb and maintain 3,000 feet and turn left, which the pilot confirms upon receiving the instruction.

Near the end of the recording, after the FedEx plane has landed and said it cleared the runway, the tower apologizes to the pilot and thanks them for their professionalism.

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Does Video Show F-22 Shooting China Spy Balloon?!

Does a viral video show a close-up of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet shooting down the spy balloon from China?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Viral Video : Close-Up Of F-22 Shooting Spy Balloon From China!

This video is going viral on WhatsApp and social media platform, claiming to show a close-up of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet shooting down the spy balloon from China.

Screenshots of the video showing the F-22 fighter jet firing a missile at the spy balloon have also been used in some editorials in pro-CCP websites, and even a Falun Gong-affiliated website!

Recommended : Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!

 

Truth : Viral Video Of F-22 Shooting Down Spy Balloon Is From Game!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : F-22 Shoot Down Audio Is Genuine

First, I should point out that the audio in the video is genuine, and accurately depicts the communication between the F-22 pilots and Huntress (NORAD’s Eastern Air Defense Sector Controller) on an open channel that anyone can listen to.

The audio clip was apparently recorded by Ken Harrell, a 68 year-old retiree and aviation hobbyist, who was listening in. This was confirmed by US Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek:

The audio is authentic and depicts communication from the 1st Fighter Wing pilot confirming the aerial target was destroyed. It’s important to clarify this audio is communication between the pilot and air traffic control that can be heard by anyone on the same frequency

Fact #2 : Audio Subtitles Are Wrong

However, the subtitles are mangled and at least partly wrong. Here is an abridged transcript of the audio communication between the F-22 pilots and air traffic control (Huntress) during the spy balloon shoot-down.

HUNTRESS : Five miles offshore.

FRANK01 : Frank One is switches hot.

FRANK02 : Frank Two is switches hot.

…..

HUNTRESS : HUNTRESS. Six miles offshore.

FRANK01 : FRANK01. Splash one! TOI 1.

HUNTRESS : HUNTRESS copy. Splash.

EAGLE02 : That is a t-kill. The balloon is completely destroyed.

EAGLE01 : There appears to be metal chaff cloud. It’s definitely metal breaking apart. Screen for an altitude check.

Fact #3 : Viral Video Was Edited From Game Video!

I traced the viral video to a YouTube channel called Growling Sidewinder, which posted the original video on 6 February 2023.

It appears that someone edited Growling Sidewinder’s video to remove the title sequence at the beginning, and the credit at the end, before sharing it on WhatsApp and social media.

Growling Sidewinder clearly stated that the video used the real audio recording, but the video itself was recreated using Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) – a flight simulation game released in 2008 by Eagle Dynamics and The Fighter Collection.

Last year, I fact checked a viral video purportedly depicting Russian forces shooting down NATO jets and helicopters. In that example, the fake news creator used footage from the video game, ArmA 3 (Armed Assault 3).

Read more : Did Russia Shoot Down NATO Jets + Helicopters In Ukraine?!

Fact #4 : F-22 Fired At A Long Distance

When I watched the video, I immediately knew that it was fake, because it showed the F-22 engaging the Chinese spy balloon at about the same altitude, and at a very short distance.

What many people may not realise is that the F-22 fighter jet fired its AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at a considerable distance away from the spy balloon. This was confirmed by numerous videos recorded by the public from a distance.

In addition, we also know that the F-22 fighter jet was only able to attain an altitude of 58,000 feet, while the Chinese spy balloon was much higher – at about 65,000 feet. The Chinese spy balloon was floating approximately 7,000 feet (2.1 km) above the F-22 fighter jet!

Based on the audio transcript, it took about 7 seconds for the Sidewinder missile, which travels at over Mach 2.5, to hit the spy balloon, roughly placing the F-22 about 6 kilometres away from the balloon when it fired the missile.

Fact #5 : The Spy Balloon Did Not Explode

If you watch the publicly released videos of the AIM-9X missile hitting the spy balloon  – and there are many, you would quickly realise that the viral video is fake, because it showed a large explosion.

The actual videos only show black and white smoke when the missile exploded next to the spy balloon’s payload.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did US Paint Chinese Balloon Kill On F-22 Fighter Jet?!

Did the US Air Force paint a balloon kill on the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon?!

Take a look at the viral photo, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : US Painted Chinese Balloon Kill On F-22 Fighter Jet!

Pro-CCP netizens are either mocking or criticising the US Air Force for painting a balloon kill on the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon!

美军F-22战斗机创造了当今最高高度空中击杀记录:6万5千英尺。
据说回来后还给飞机纹了个图案纪念战功,你们说气人不?

The U.S. F-22 fighter jet has created the current record for the highest altitude air kill: 65,000 feet. It is said that after returning, he even tattooed a pattern on the plane to commemorate the military exploits. Don’t you think it is annoying?

Well here it is the #Balloon decal 😁

五毛:高射炮打蚊子‼️

北京时间2月5日03:39,从美国弗吉尼亚州兰利空军基地起飞的一架F-22战斗机,在近18000米(58000英尺)高度发射的一枚价值约40万美元的AIM-9X“响尾蛇”红外制导空空导弹,击落了一个在20000米左右(65000英尺)高度飞行的价值数百美元的中共高空气球,气球残骸随后坠落于南卡罗来纳州近海海域。

Fifty cents: anti-aircraft weapon hit mosquitoes‼ ️

At 03:39 on February 5, Beijing time, an F-22 fighter jet that took off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, USA, launched an AIM-9X worth about 400,000 US dollars at an altitude of nearly 18,000 meters (58,000 feet). The “Sidewinder” infrared-guided air-to-air missile shot down a CCP high-altitude balloon worth hundreds of dollars flying at an altitude of about 20,000 meters (65,000 feet), and the balloon wreckage then fell in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.

Recommended : Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!

 

Truth : US Did Not Paint Chinese Balloon Kill On F-22 Fighter Jet!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : It Was First Official F-22 Air-to-Air Kill

First, we need to acknowledge that the shooting down of the Chinese spy balloon was officially the first air-to-air kill for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

Although the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor entered US Air Force service in December 2005, it has not engaged in any air-to-air combat. Its combat sorties had so far consisted of very limited bombing missions in the Middle East.

So shooting down the Chinese spy balloon was the first time the F-22 was “blooded” in air combat, albeit against an easy target that could not manoeuvre to evade, or fire back.

I mention this point because it is entirely possible and legitimate for the pilot to paint a balloon kill on his F-22 fighter jet.

Fact #2 : Viral Photo Was Edited From 2020 Photo

While it is possible that the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon may sport a kill marking of some sort, there was no official release of any photo of such a kill marking or decal.

What I can confirm is that the viral photo was edited, by painting a white balloon onto a photo originally posted by the Edwards Air Force Base on April 3, 2020.

Here is a photo comparison I created, showing the Edwards Air Force Base Facebook post, and the fake viral photo.

Fact #3 : FRANK01 Flew From Langley Air Force Base

The viral photo shows an F-22 Raptor flown by Major Brandon Burfeind from the 411th Flight Test Squadron, based out of Edwards Air Force Base in California. His F-22 fighter jet has a fuselage number 007, and the airframe number 91-4007.

The F-22 Raptor that shot down the Chinese spy balloon was flown by an unnamed pilot using the callsign FRANK01, from the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

While we do not know the name or rank of the FRANK01 pilot yet, his F-22 fighter jet is definitely not the same as the one shown in the viral photo, as he is based on a different USAF base in a different state.

Interesting note : The FRANK01 callsign is an apparent homage to World War I Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr., who is known as the “Arizona Balloon Buster” for shooting down 14 German balloons, as well as four planes.

Fact #4 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This appears to be yet another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), or pro-CCP netizens.

All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!

Find out why the US Air Force shot down the Chinese spy balloon using an expensive $400,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile!

 

Claim : US Shot Down Spy Balloon Using Expensive Missile!

Pro-CCP netizens are mocking the US government for shooting down a cheap Chinese weather balloon using an expensive $400,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile!

US so panic of a balloon

they sent FOUR (4) fighter jets (2 x F-22s, 2 x F-15s) to “survey the situation”, before firing that $400k AIM-9x Sidewinder A2A missile to shoot the balloon down.

America used a $400,000 missile fired from a $216,000,000 fighter jet to shoot down…

… a weather balloon.

China can just send more balloons….

Recommended : Does Video Show F-22 Shooting China Spy Balloon?!

 

Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!

This is yet another example of PROPAGANDA created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Were Two Chinese Balloons

On Friday, February 3, 2023, China admitted that the massive balloon hovering over the US state of Montana belonged to them, but claimed that it was a weather balloon and not a spy balloon.

Later that same Friday, a second balloon was spotted over Latin America. It took China another 3 days to admit that it was theirs, and another “weather balloon” that was “blown off course”.

Fact #2 : Chinese Balloon Was Not A Weather Balloon

Weather balloons are common – thousands are launched daily across the world to collect information on the temperature, wind and moisture in the upper atmosphere.

Weather balloons are not very large – expanding from 6 feet (1.8 metres) to 20 feet (6 metres) in diameter as they rise in altitude. Their payloads are also small, consisting of a small box with a few sensors.

The Chinese weather balloon that the US Air Force just shot down is not only much larger at around 90 feet (27.5 metres) wide, it also has a very large payload that includes large solar panels, and even propellers to control its movement.

The kinds of weather balloons that are launched twice a day from Weather Service offices are typically just a little box that has a temperature sensor, relative humidity sensor, pressure sensor and then a little tiny transmitter. Based on the photos that have been going around, there’s obviously a lot more equipment on this one.
– Alexandra Anderson-Frey, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington

Real weather balloons also do not travel far – they generally go up to a high altitude and stay there. Spy balloons, on the other hand, need to travel long distances. This Chinese balloon has travelled all the way from China to Alaska to Canada, before reaching the continental United States.

The reported characteristics of this balloon don’t really match anything that we’re familiar with. This has been traveling at a much longer distance than what would be these standard weather balloons.

[Standard weather balloons] go up over one particular place and up to about 50,000 feet in the atmosphere, and then that’s it, they’re done. They don’t travel large distances, so I think that there’s pretty significant differences between typical weather balloons and this reported balloon.
– Jonathan Porter, Chief Meteorologist at Accuweather

Recommended : Did Four Taiwan F-16 Fighters Just Defect To China?!

Fact #3 : Chinese Balloon Was At Very High Altitude

The US Air Force sent two F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to take down the spy balloon, with two F-15 fighters to probably take videos and photos of the event.

While Chinese netizens may snigger at how the USAF has to use such an expensive fighter jet to shoot down a cheap Chinese balloon, they ignore the fact that the Chinese spy balloon was operating at a very high altitude of about 65,000 feet – that’s 20 km above ground level!

The F-22 Raptor was likely chosen for the task as it was most capable of flying to such a high altitude while loaded with missiles. Many jet fighters have “similar” maximum service ceilings, but their true service ceilings are often much lower, limited by the amount of armament and/or fuel they carry.

Fact #4 : Missile Was Necessary To Shoot Down Balloon

In the end, the F-22 Raptor with the callsign FRANK01 attained an altitude of 58,000 feet (17.7 km) before firing an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon. It was the first air-to-air combat kill for the F-22.

While Chinese netizens mocked the use of such an expensive missile, the AIM-9X Sidewinder is the smallest and cheapest air-to-air missile in the USAF arsenal.

It would be impossible for the F-22 Raptor pilot to use its 20 mm M61A2 Vulcan rotary cannon to shoot down the balloon, which is still 7,000 feet (2.1 km) above it!

In case you are wondering – the M61A2 Vulcan has an effective range of only 2,000 feet (600 metres). So a missile was necessary to bring down the Chinese spy balloon, and the AIM-9X was the right tool for the job.

Interestingly, the FRANK callsign may be a reference to World War I Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr., who is known as the “Arizona Balloon Buster” for shooting down 14 German balloons, as well as four planes.

Fact #5 : China Breaks International Law With Spy Balloon Overflights

It is ludicrous for anyone to claim that China can keep sending “cheap” spy balloons to trigger the Americans, as every country has “complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory” under international law.

Such acts are therefore violations of international law, and infringements of the sovereignty of the countries that these spy balloons overfly.

That’s why Chinese government keeps claiming that these spy balloons are civilian craft. That is also why the US government has the right to shoot down the spy balloon without asking China for permission.

Read more : Did US Paint Chinese Balloon Kill On F-22 Fighter Jet?!

Fact #6 : Every Fallen Balloon Is An Intelligence Bonanza

In the United States, Republicans are complaining that President Joe Biden was weak in allowing the Chinese spy balloon to fly off the coast of South Carolina before shooting it down on Saturday afternoon, February 4, 2023.

What they don’t tell the people is that President Joe Biden asked the US Air Force to shoot down the spy balloon as soon as it was safe to do so.

On top of that, the US military wanted to retrieve the spy balloon to examine its payload, and the best way to keep the payload intact would be to bring down the balloon over shallow water, instead of land.

In accordance with the President’s direction, the military brought down the balloon within sovereign U.S. airspace and over U.S. territorial waters to protect civilians while maximizing our ability to recover the payload.

On Monday, February 6, 2023, the first parts of the Chinese spy balloon arrived at the FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.

Depending on what they recover, it may be possible to determine what these spy balloons are capable of, what it recorded, and who manufactured its components. The Americans may possibly gain insights into hitherto unknown Chinese technologies.

Instead of mocking the Americans for shooting down a “cheap” spy balloon, perhaps the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens should worry about what the Americans might find….

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Chip Tayag Crash Helicopter From Vaccine SADS?!

Did WBTV pilot Chip Tayag crash his helicopter, just four hours after his 4th COVID-19 vaccination?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Chip Tayag Crashed Helicopter From Vaccine SADS!

On 23 November 2022, Michael Baxter (real name : Michael Tuffin) wrote an article claiming that WBTV pilot Chip Tayag crashed his helicopter and killed himself and meteorologist Jason Myers, after receiving his fourth COVID-19 vaccination just four hours earlier!

It is long and rambling, so please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

A recently boosted pilot for WBTV, a CNN affiliate, died Tuesday afternoon when the helicopter he was piloting spiraled out of control and crashed in a field near Interstate 77, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Passenger Jason Myers, a meteorologist, also perished in the wreck.

Although the National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release a preliminary accident report, two sources at WBTV told Real Raw News that pilot Chip Tayag had received a fourth Covid-19 vaccination four hours ahead of the fateful flight. They would only comment under condition of anonymity because, they said, WBTV legal issued a directive to all employees—avoid mentioning vaccines when discussing the crash, or don’t discuss it at all, on or off air.

Recommended : Did CDC Say COVID Vaccines Cause AIDS + Cancer?!

 

Truth : Chip Tayag Did NOT Crash Helicopter From Vaccine SADS!

The truth is – this is just another FAKE STORY created by Real Raw News, just to generate page views and money.

Everything that Real Raw News posts must be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Fact #1 : Real Raw News Is A Fake News Website

Real Raw News is a FAKE NEWS website that capitalises on making shocking but fake stories to generate page views and money.

To protect himself from legal repercussions, the owner and writer, Michael Baxter (real name – Michael Tuffin), claims that his articles are “humour, parody, and satire“.

This disclaimer, which is not clearly mentioned in his articles, lets him keep creating fake news that will go viral, and generate him money.

His articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from his website. Here are some of his fake stories that I personally debunked earlier:

Fact #2 : No Legitimate Report Of COVID-19 Vaccination Before Flight

Only Real Raw News has published anything about Chip Tayag receiving his 4th COVID-19 vaccination just four hours before crashing his helicopter.

If it’s true that Chip Tayag got his 4th vaccine dose just before a flight that ended in a crash, it would have been picked up by at least one or two other blogs, if not the mainstream media.

Yet, no one else could corroborate the claim? How likely is it for a one-man operation like Real Raw News to have a scoop on this “story” and the many other stories that turned out to be false?

Read more : Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel Arrested For Vaccine Fraud?

A March 2018 screenshot of Michael Tuffin, who goes by the pseudonym Michael Baxter

Fact #3 : Unknown If Chip Tayag Was Vaccinated

It is currently unknown if Chip Tayag was vaccinated against COVID-19, so it would be wrong for anyone to claim that he died from COVID-19 vaccine side effects, or had a 4th vaccine dose before he died!

For all we know – he may not even be vaccinated! The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in the United States, despite what anti-vaccination activists may claim.

For example, anti-vaccination activists claimed that Kaden Clymer was almost crippled by a 6-foot long vaccine-induced blood clot, but the high school athlete was never vaccinated against COVID-19!

Fact #4 : WBTV Helicopter Took Off At 11:19 AM

The WBTV helicopter – a Robinson R44, crashed at around 12:20 PM local time, next to the Interstate 77 South highway.

But it took off 38 minutes earlier from the WBTV headquarters in uptown Charlotte at 11:19 AM, according to flight records from RadarBox.

In other words – it is really impossible for Chip Tayag to get his 4th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine four hours before that flight. Which vaccination centre opens at 7 AM?

Fact #5 : WBTV Helicopter Appeared To Be Malfunctioning

Despite suggestions that Chip Tayag may have died or collapsed from his 4th COVID-19 vaccination, eyewitness accounts stated that the helicopter appeared to be in trouble.

David Bristol, who is a trainee pilot, watched the WBTV Sky 3 helicopter that Chip Tayag was piloting, make slow circles for a while, when he noticed two odd things:

  • the sound Sky 3 made seemed to change
  • he then saw Sky 3 make two odd, hard turns to the left, before suddenly disappearing behind the trees.

Another eyewitness concurred that the helicopter appeared to be in trouble, and the pilot made an aggressive move to prevent crashing onto the highway.

I think that he absolutely knew that he was gonna have to put that down,” the man said. “He did his best to put it down … Whoever the pilot was, did their best to put that thing down where it wasn’t going to injure a lot of people, and in that respect, they did a fabulous job.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings confirmed that the pilot was in control, and managed to avoid hitting the busy highway.

It seems the pilot that was operating the aircraft made some diversionary moves to avoid hitting traffic … To me it looks like a heroic incident where the pilot tried to avoid injuring anyone else and putting anyone else in danger,” Jennings said. “If that is truly the case then that pilot is a hero, in my eyes, to make sure the safety and security of those driving on the road was not in jeopardy.

From all eyewitness accounts, Chip Tayag did not just collapse after getting his fourth dose of the vaccine. He was in control, and managed to crash the helicopter away from a busy highway.

Read more : Was Bill Gates Arrested For Crimes Against Humanity?

Fact #6 : USAF Pilots Did Not Resign Over Vaccine Mandate

It is ludicrous for Real Raw News to repeat their long-debunked claim that USAF pilots resigning over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin never sent any text message demanding that all Armed Forces members to immediately get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In any case, no F-22 pilot or B-52 crew member ever quit over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Read more : Did US Air Force Pilots Resign Over Vaccine Mandate?

Everything that Real Raw News posts should be regarded as FAKE NEWS.

Now that you know the facts, please SHARE THIS FACT CHECK out!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did US Navy Fleet Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan?!

Did a massive US Navy fleet of warships and fighters escort Nancy Pelosi safely to Taiwan?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Massive US Fleet Had To Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan!

People are sharing a video which claims to show a massive fleet of warships and fighters that the United States used to escort Nancy Pelosi safety to Taiwan.

Here are some of the accompanying descriptions :

Pelosi gets more firepower escorting her flight to Asia than any US President flying anywhere ever had in history.

See, how Nancy Pelosi reached Taiwan, Escorted by fighter jets and the strength of US Blue Navy

Retired Pakistani Brigadier Ashfaq Hassan also shared the video, claiming that the US Air Force was authorised to shoot at Chinese aircraft or warships interfering with her flight.

👇Arrival of US Air Force One in Taiwan with US official Nancy Pelosi.
20 Warplanes were escorting Nancy Pelosi’s plane including US fighter jets. US air force authorized to open fire in case of any Chinese interference on the plane carrying Nancy Pelosi.

 

Truth : US Fleet Did Not Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan

This is another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups, and here are the reasons why….

Fact #1 : Nancy Pelosi’s Flight Had No US Escort

Nancy Pelosi flew from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Taipei, Taiwan aboard a Boeing C-40C – the military version of the Boeing 737 airliner, operated by the US Air Force.

Her flight with the callsign SPAR19 flew to Taipei without US fighter or warship escort, but was met by Taiwanese fighter escorts on entering Taiwanese airspace.

Fact #2 : Video Was Recorded At Valiant Shield 2020

The video was recorded on September 25, 2020 – just over two years ago, and had nothing to do with Nancy Pelosi, or Taiwan.

If you watch the official Valiant Shield 2020 video, you will see the same aircraft fly over the same ships at around 1:39. Here was the official description of the aircraft flyover :

PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 25, 2020) From left, USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194), USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Germantown (LSD 42), and USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) steam in formation while E/A-18G Growlers and FA-18E Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, a P-8 Poseidon from Commander Task Force 72, and U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and a B-1B Bomber fly over the formation in support of Valiant Shield 2020.

In this screenshot, you can see the same 3 flights of aircraft flying over the same warships in Valiant Shield 2020.

Fact #3 : US Air Force Won’t Send A Bomber As Escort

The lead aircraft in the flyover has a very distinctive shape. Any military buff will immediately identify it as a Rockwell B-1B Lancer.

The US Air Force would never send the B-1B, because it’s a supersonic heavy bomber, and useless as an escort aircraft.

Fact #4 : P-8 Poseidon Is An ASW Aircraft

The aircraft that looked like a Boeing 737 is actually a P-8 Poseidon, which is based on the 737-800ERX.

It is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and is most certainly not a passenger transport aircraft like the Boeing C-40C.

Fact #5 : US Air Force Was Not Authorised To Open Fire

Retired Ashfaq Hassan falsely claimed that the US Air Force was authorised to open fire in case of Chinese interference with Nancy Pelosi’s flight.

It is such an absurd claim, because either party shooting at each other would have been considered an act of war.

In past confrontations, Chinese aircraft have only limited themselves to buzzing other aircraft and dumping chaff into their engines. No one ever fired a shot, because that would have led to an outbreak of war.

Read more : Did Chinese Bombers Fire On US Aircraft Carrier?!

Fact #6 : China Sent 10 Observers To Valiant Shield 2020

Interestingly, the Chinese are well-aware that this video is from Valiant Shield 2020, because that was the first time they were invited to observe the exercise.

China sent a 10-person delegation, including one high-ranking officer each from its Navy, Army and Air Force to observe Valiant Shield 2020.

Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Leiyu – the leader of this delegation, even called it “a positive step in China-US military ties”.

Fact #7 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This is just another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

Please help us fight fake news – SHARE this article, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysia No Longer Requires Traveller’s Pass!

All travellers to Malaysia will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass in MySejahtera!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Currently : Foreign Travellers Need Traveller’s Pass To Enter Malaysia!

Since 1 May 2022, the Malaysian government has liberalised air travel into Malaysia, waiving both quarantine and insurance requirements.

However, they still require foreign travellers to fill in their details in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass, prior to departure.

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account.
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

This requirement used to apply to Malaysian citizens too, but was waived starting 4 July 2022.

Read more : Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

 

Now : Traveller’s Pass No Longer Required To Travel To Malaysia!

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on 31 July 2022 that all travellers will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

Starting Monday, 1 August 2022, all travellers to Malaysia – citizens and foreigners alike – will no longer be required to fill in their details using the Traveller option in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass or Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

With this relaxation, travelling to Malaysia will essentially return to pre-pandemic norms. All you need to enter Malaysia is a valid passport, and a visa (if required).

 

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Is US Sending Infected Birds To Spread Monkeypox?!

Are the US and Western countries sending infected birds to spread monkeypox to China and other Asian countries?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : US Is Sending Infected Birds To Spread Monkeypox!

The Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) netizens are now claiming that the US and Western countries are sending infected birds to spread monkeypox to China and other Asian countries.

Hey, guys. No matter where you are, if you see a bird that can’t fly, can’t walk or struggle on the ground, you should never catch it, for fear of monkeypox infection. The relevant community has informed you, please pay attention to it. Remember!

 

Truth : No One Is Sending Infected Birds To Spread Monkeypox!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and shared by pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : The West Is Not Sending Infected Birds To Spread Monkeypox

Just like their insects attack claim, the wumao are falsely blaming the West for sending birds to spread monkeypox.

This is utter nonsense, and nothing more than Chinese propaganda. It is also not very believable propaganda at that, and I will show you why.

Fact #2 : Monkeypox Not Known To Infect Birds

Birds have, so far, not been found to be infected with the monkeypox virus, or any other orthopoxviruses. So it would be absurd for anyone to suggest birds being used as a vector for spreading monkeypox.

The monkeypox virus mostly infects mammals like apes, monkeys, squirrels, shrews, chinchillas, anteaters, hedgehogs, prairie dogs… and yes, human beings. But not birds.

Fact #3 : Most Monkeypox Cases Are In The West!

It is absurd to claim that the West is intentionally spreading monkeypox to China and other Asian countries.

If they were, well, they are doing a piss-poor job of it, because nine of the top 10 countries with monkeypox cases are Western countries!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 3,536 62 3,598
United States 2,891 2,891
Germany 2,268 2,268
United Kingdom 2,208 2,208
France 1,567 1,567
Canada 681 45 726
Netherlands 712 712
Brazil 696 6 702
Portugal 588 588
Italy 407 407

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Fact #4 : Current Outbreak Spreading Human-to-Human

In the 2022 monkeypox outbreak, the disease is being spread from human-to-human, not from birds to humans.

The global spread occurs through air travel – infected people travelling overseas, and infecting other people at those destinations.

Many of the cases have also been traced to men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.

This does not mean that monkeypox is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). It is not spread through sexual activities, but through skin-to-skin contact between an infected person and other people.

Fact #5 : It Is Difficult To Train Birds

While pigeons can be trained to carry messages between two points, it is not easy to train them.

For one thing – you need to repeatedly transport the pigeons and feed them at both the origin location, and the destination, until they can fly between the two locations independently.

Only pigeons have been trained reliably this way. Other birds lack the pigeon’s ability to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field (magnetoreception), or its ease of training.

Even if the US and other Western countries want to use pigeons to infect China and other Asian countries with monkeypox, they would need to repeatedly bring the pigeons over to the target countries and back. Do you think such activity would not catch the attention of the authorities at those countries?

Without such training, the birds will simply fly wherever they want to, and not where the Americans / Westerners want them to.

It would be much easier to just fly someone infected with monkeypox to China, and give everyone there a big hug…. which is why this fake story is so stupid!

Read more : Did EU Torture + Kill Hundreds Of African Refugees?!

Fact #6 : Most Birds Cannot Fly Vast Distances

The bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) holds the world’s record for flying over 12,000 kilometres for 11 days straight without stopping. However, most birds just don’t fly very far.

Even homing pigeons can only fly for about 1,200 km a day, which is pretty darn far… until you realise that the distance between the US and China is some 11,640 kilometres!

Only the bar-tailed godwit is capable of making that flight. The homing pigeon can only travel 10% of the way across the mighty Pacific Ocean.

Fact #7 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This is really nothing more than yet another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

All of the wumao articles that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

Please help us fight fake news – SHARE this article, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysia Offers 2nd Booster To 50+ Years + Travellers!

Malaysia is now offering the 2nd booster dose to those who are 50 years or older, as well as people planning to travel overseas!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Earlier : Malaysia Gives 2nd Booster Dose To High-Risk Individuals!

Back in mid-April 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) offered a second booster dose to high-risk individuals :

  • High-risk senior citizens aged 60 years and above, with co-morbidities like
    – diabetes
    – chronic lung disease
    – chronic renal disease, underlying dialysis
    – chronic liver disease
    – cerebrovascular disease
    – heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy
    – chronic neurological diseases
    – BMI of over 40
    – residents of long-term care facilities
  • Individuals who received the Sinovac or Sinopharm booster dose for travel purposes
  • Healthy senior citizens are advised to consult a doctor for second booster dose recommendation

Read more : Second Booster Dose Offered To High-Risk Individuals!

 

Now : Malaysia Gives 2nd Booster To 50+ Years + Travellers!

On 19 July 2022, the Malaysia Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin, announced that the government will now offer the 2nd booster dose to :

  • individuals those who are 50 years and older, even if they do not have co-morbidities, and
  • individuals who are planning to travel overseas

The group in the 50-59 age bracket without any chronic diseases and anyone 50 and below who wants to travel overseas can receive second vaccine boosters.

As announced earlier, the second booster dose will continue to be offered to high-risk individuals living in long-term care facilities, adults 18 years and older with co-morbidities, and COVID-19 frontliners.

The second booster dose will be the Pfizer COMIRNATY vaccine, and it will be given :

  • at least 4-6 months after the first booster dose for senior citizens,
  • at least 3 months after recovery for senior citizens who had a COVID-19 infection,
  • and at least 1 month after the first booster dose for Sinovac / SInopharm recipients.

This second booster dose is optional, and is not compulsory. Your vaccination status will not change, whether you take the second booster dose or not.

You can either book your booster dose appointment on MySejahtera, or look for a nearby private healthcare facility offering a booster dose.

These booster doses are offered for FREE by the Malaysian government, as part of the PICK vaccination programme.

 

Why 2nd Booster Dose For Travellers Leaving Malaysia?

Even though many countries have opened up their economies, and even to travellers; the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over.

Many countries are now facing spikes in COVID-19 cases, thanks to new Omicron subvariants that are highly contagious, and evade protection from both previous infections and vaccinations.

Thus, a second booster dose before travelling overseas will offer a short  but useful boost in antibodies that could protect travellers as they fly out of Malaysia into other countries.

This is particularly important for those who received the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. Both Chinese vaccines offer markedly lower protection, which quickly wane over a matter of weeks.

A Yale University study, for example, showed that Sinovac vaccine recipients will require TWO Pfizer booster doses, to adequately protect against the Omicron variant.

Therefore, if you received Sinovac / Sinopharm vaccine earlier, I highly recommend that you get the booster doses, even if you are not planning to travel overseas.

Read more : Why Sinovac recipients may need TWO Pfizer booster doses!

There is also a more practical consideration for people travelling overseas – some countries in Europe do not recognise the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, both as a primary series vaccine or a booster dose.

Therefore, they will be allowed to obtain a second booster dose, at least one month after receiving their first booster dose.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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FBI + MI5 Issue Joint Warning On Chinese Spying!

The FBI and MI5 just issued a joint warning about economic spying and hacking operations by the Chinese government!

Here is what you need to know…

 

FBI + MI5 Issue Joint Warning On Chinese Spying!

On July 7, 2022, FBI Director Christopher Wray joined MI5 Director General Ken McCallum at the MI5 London headquarters to issue a joint warning about Chinese spying and cyberattacks.

Ken McCallum said that MI5 was running seven times as many investigations into China, as it had just four years ago. He also said that MI5 planned to double that to tackle the widespread attempts.

Christopher Wray, on the other hand, stressed that the FBI had substantially increased its investigations into China, and is currently managing about 2,000 problems, and opening about two counterintelligence cases every day.

The Chinese government is set on stealing your technology – whatever it is that makes your industry tick – and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market.

Maintaining a technological edge may do more to increase a company’s value than would partnering with a Chinese company to sell into that huge Chinese market, only to find the Chinese government and your partner stealing and copying your innovation.

Both McCallum and Wray alleged that the Chinese government is engaged in a “coordinated campaign” to “cheat and steal [technology] on a massive scale“.

They also stressed that China’s hacking programme dwarfs that of any other major country, and that it has a global network of intelligence operatives.

 

FBI + MI5 : China Also Preparing To Shield From Sanctions

Even more worrying is the fact that China is working to shield its economy from any future sanctions, obviously learning from how the West punished Russia for invading Ukraine.

This suggests that China is at least preparing for the possibility, if not the eventuality, of insulating its economy from potential sanctions, should it attack Taiwan.

Wray said that China is “trying to cushion themselves from harm if they do anything to draw the ire of the international community”, and that the Chinese government is pressuring Western businesses not to criticise Beijing or its policies.

He declined to say whether an invasion of Taiwan has become more likely due to these measures, but warn that Western investments in China could be similarly impacted by such a conflict.

Just as in Russia, Western investments built over years could become hostage, capital stranded. Supply chains and relationships disrupted.

Wray also shared that the Chinese government had directly interfered in a New York congressional election, because they did not want a candidate who was a critic and a former Tiananmen Square protestor to be elected.

China has for far too long counted on being everybody’s second-highest priority. They are not flying under the radar anymore.

Both Wray and McCallum said that the intention of the joint address was to “send the clearest signal” to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), because if China decides to invade Taiwan, it would cause “one of the most horrific business disruptions the world has ever seen“.

Read more : US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

 

FBI + MI5 : Examples Of Chinese Spying

McCallum shared some specific cases of Chinese spying activities that MI5 detected and thwarted.

Covert Theft

Late last year Chinese intelligence officer Shu Yenjoon was convicted in a US court on charges of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets from the US aviation sector.

Shu was active in Europe too: he’d been part of a prolific Ministry of State Security network targeting the aerospace sector.

MI5 worked with those being targeted in the UK to mitigate the risks until the FBI action could solve the problem for both of us.

Tech Transfer

Clandestine espionage methodology isn’t always necessary. Take the tale of Smith’s Harlow, a UK-based precision engineering firm. In 2017 Smith’s Harlow entered into a deal with a Chinese firm, Futures Aerospace. The first of three agreed technology transfers saw Futures pay £3m for quality control procedures and training courses.

You know how this ends: after further sharing of valuable IP, Futures abandoned the deal. Smith’s Harlow went into administration in 2020. As their Chairman put it: “They’ve taken what they wanted and now they’ve got it, they didn’t need the shell of Smith’s”.

Information Advantage

The CCP doesn’t just use intelligence officers posing as diplomats in the classic fashion. Privileged information is gathered on multiple channels, in what is sometimes referred to as the ‘thousand grains of sand’ strategy.

In Germany a retired political scientist and his wife who together ran a foreign policy think tank passed information to the Chinese intelligence services for almost ten years.

In Estonia a NATO maritime scientist was convicted for passing information to his Chinese handlers, who claimed to be working for a think tank.

Cultivating New Contacts

The deceptive use of professional networking sites is well known. Seemingly flattering approaches turn into something more insidious – and damaging.

In one example a British aviation expert received an approach online, ostensibly went through a recruitment process, and was offered an attractive employment opportunity. He travelled twice to China where he was wined and dined. He was then asked – and paid – for detailed technical information on military aircraft. The ‘company’ was actually run by Chinese intelligence officers.

Read more : China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

 

Chinese Response To FBI + MI5 Spying Allegations

Chinese government officials naturally rejected spying allegations by the FBI and MI5.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, called the accusations groundless and said that China “firmly opposes and combats all forms of cyber-attacks“, and would “never encourage, support or condone cyber-attacks“.

His statement also said that the Taiwan issue was “purely China’s internal affair” and that there was “no room for compromise or concession“. It also said that China “will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts“, but noted that China would “reserve the option of taking all necessary measures in response to the interference of foreign forces“.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian did not address the claims directly, but accused the United States of being the real danger instead.

The relevant US politician has been playing up the so-called China threat to smear and attack China. Facts have fully proven that the US is the biggest threat to world peace, stability and development.

We urge this US official to have the right perspective, see China’s developments in an objective and reasonable manner and stop spreading lies and stop making irresponsible remarks.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

Here are the LATEST COVID-19 requirements and SOP for those plan to travel by air to Malaysia!

Updated @ 2022-07-03 : Malaysian citizens are no longer required to register for Traveller’s Pass.
Updated @ 2022-06-13 : Added the current COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Originally posted @ 2022-04-28

 

Malaysia Air Travel : Current COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

Currently, travellers to Malaysia must provide documentation that they have completed a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), or by a stringent regulatory authority in the country of origin.

There are additional requirements on COVID-19 vaccination for travellers :

  • Those aged 60 years and above are required to receive a booster dose.
  • Those received two doses of Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine, regardless of age, must receive a third dose (of any vaccine) to qualify as fully-vaccinated.

The definition of a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine includes the number of doses required to provide the full vaccine protection, as well as the time needed to achieve protection against COVID-19.

Currently, that means 14 days after the second dose of a two (2) dose vaccine, or 14 days after a one (1) dose vaccine. In the case of Sinopharm / Sinovac vaccine recipients, that would mean 14 days after the third dose.

You are also considered fully-vaccinated immediately after receiving your booster dose.

Please make sure you submit your vaccination information through the Travellers option in MySejahtera, before your flight to Malaysia.

After submitting your COVID-19 vaccination details, you will receive a Travellers digital card, which allows you entry into Malaysia on arrival.

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine Rules From 1 May 2022!

On 27 April 2022, the Malaysia Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin announced new test and quarantine rules for travellers flying to Malaysia.

These COVID-19 test and quarantine rules take effect from Sunday, 1 May 2022 onwards!

A. Children 12 Years Or Younger : No Test, No Quarantine!

Irrespective of their vaccination status, children who are 12 years old or younger do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

B. Fully-Vaccinated 13 Years Or Older : No Test, No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated adolescents and adults who are 13 years or older do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

C. Partially-Vaccinated / Unvaccinated 13-17 Years Old : No Quarantine!

Adolescents who are 13-17 years old, and are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated do NOT need to undergo HSO quarantine on arrival in Malaysia.

However, they will need to undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a supervised RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

D. Vaccinated Adults : No Test, No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated adults (18 years and older), with or without a booster dose, do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

E. Unvaccinated with Medical Exemption : No Quarantine!

Unvaccinated individuals with a medical exemption will be allowed, on a case-by-case basis, to travel to Malaysia without a mandatory quarantine.

However, they must undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

F. Unvaccinated Adults : 5 Day Quarantine

Adult travellers (18 years and older) who are partially-vaccinated, or completely unvaccinated, must :

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

Travellers who are exempt from vaccination for health reasons must upload the evidence of medical exemption into the MySejahtera app.

G. Unvaccinated + Post COVID-19 : 5 Day Quarantine

Unvaccinated individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (infected in the last 6-60 days) must:

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

If they were not hospitalised, they must undergo :

  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

If they were hospitalised, they can use a Fit To Travel letter from the hospital.

 

Latest Malaysia Air Travel Procedure From 4 July 2022!

On 27 April 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health issued the official procedure for travellers who arrive by air, that will take effect from 1 May 2022 onwards.

It was then updated on 1 July 2022, with the abolishment of the Traveller’s Pass for Malaysian citizens.

Before Departure

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account. *
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card *
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).
  3. All unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers 13 years and above must undergo a PCR test 2 days before departure.
  4. Those who had a previous COVID-19 infection (within 6-60 days before departure) must undergo a professional RTK-Ag test 2 days before departure, or alternatively, have a Free-To-Travel letter if they were hospitalised for COVID-19 during that time.
  5. You do NOT need to purchase travel and COVID-19 insurance.

* No longer necessary for Malaysian citizens, starting 4 July 2022.

On Arrival

  1. All partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers 13 years and above must undergo a supervised RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.
    a) this supervised RTK-Ag test can be performed at any health facility of your choice, or virtually
    b) COVID-19 breathalyser / professional RTK-Ag tests are available at the airport
    c) Cost of on-arrival RTK-Ag test must be borne by the travellers.
  2. Children below the age of 13, and travellers from Singapore are exempted from the on-arrival test.
  3. Partially-vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers must undergo a mandatory 5-day quarantine.
  4. IMPORTANT : Travellers transiting through Malaysian international airports to Sabah or Sarawak must undergo professional RTK-Ag at the airport, before departing.

Testing Positive On Arrival

If you test positive on arrival, you must undergo a mandatory HSO quarantine of 7 days.

You can opt for the new Day 4 test and release procedure, by undertaking a supervised RTK-Ag test on Day 4 of your quarantine.

  • If you test negative, you are allowed to immediately terminate your quarantine.
  • If you test positive, you must complete your 7-day quarantine

Read more : Day 4 Test + Release For COVID-19 Positive In Malaysia!

Testing Positive During Quarantine

If you are a partially vaccinated / unvaccinated traveller, you will need to undergo a 5-day quarantine, and get tested on Day 4 (PCR) or Day 5 (RTK-Ag).

If you test positive on Day 4 or Day 5, your quarantine will get extended for 5 more days.

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine SOP : Summary

To make it easier to compare the myriad air travel requirements to Malaysia, I created this table to summarise the key requirements.

Vaccination Status Pre-Departure On Arrival Additional Test
or Quarantine
Child (< 13 Years) * No Test Required No Test
No Quarantine
Fully Vaccinated (≥ 13 Years)
Partially-Vaccinated or
Unvaccinated (13-17 Years)
PCR test
within 2 days
Supervised
RTK-Ag
within 24 hours
of arrival

On-Arrival
Professional
RTK-Ag
for travellers
transiting to
Sabah or
Sarawak
Not Vaccinated with
Medical Exemption
Partially Vaccinated or
Unvaccinated (≥18 Years)
5-Day Quarantine
with
Day 4 PCR or
Day 5 RTK

Partially Vaccinated
or Unvaccinated

+ Post-COVID-19
(6-60 Days)
Professional
RTK-Ag
within 2 days
or FTT letter **
if hospitalised

* By year of birth
** Also professional RTK-Ag if recovered from COVID-19 infection 6-60 days before departure
*** FTT = Fit To Travel

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysian Citizens Don’t Need MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass!

Citizens returning to Malaysia will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass in MySejahtera!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Currently : MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass Required To Enter Malaysia!

Since 1 May 2022, the Malaysian government has liberalised air travel into Malaysia, waiving both quarantine and insurance requirements.

However, they still require all travellers to fill in their details in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass, prior to departure.

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account.
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

This requirement applies to both citizens and foreigners alike – everyone must apply using the Traveller option in MySejahtera.

Read more : Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

 

Now : Malaysian Citizens Don’t Need MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass!

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on 1 July 2022 that Malaysian citizens will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, travellers to Malaysia will no longer be required to fill in their details using the Traveller option in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass or Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

However, this is currently limited only to Malaysian citizens. The government will gradually extend this privilege to other groups like social pass holders, students, and permanent residents.

Therefore, all travellers who are not Malaysian citizens must continue to fill in their details using the Traveller option in MySejahtera, and obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Slashes COVID-19 International Travel Quarantine!

China just relaxed entry requirements, by slashing more than half of its COVID-19 international travel quarantine!

Here is what you need to know…

 

China Slashes COVID-19 International Travel Quarantine!

On June 28, 2022, the Chinese National Health Commission announced a reduction of China’s quarantine requirement for international travellers.

China had earlier mandated that most inbound travellers must undergo a 14 + 7 quarantine protocol – at least 14 days at a government quarantine facility, followed by 7 days of self-isolation at home.

The new quarantine requirement will be a much shorter 7 + 3 protocol – travellers only need to spend 7 days at a quarantine facility, followed by 3 days of self-isolation at home.

 

Shorter Travel Quarantine, But China Still Maintaining Zero COVID

While China has relaxed its international travel quarantine requirements, that doesn’t mean it is going to quit its Zero COVID policy.

On the same day China announced the shorter quarantine policy, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the Zero COVID policy on a visit to the Wuhan – where the pandemic started.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, he said that he would rather “temporarily sacrifice a little economic growth” than “harm people’s health“.

This announcement came one day after Beijing Daily – the official CCP newspaper – published a quote by a senior Communist Party official who said that Beijing would remain under the Zero COVID policy “for the next five years”.

That sparked panic, causing Beijing Daily to remove the quote after claiming it was an “editing error”. Chinese censors also went into overdrive, removing all references to the quote.

According to CNN which analysed the entire speech, Beijing party chief Cai Qi did discuss at length the possibility that Zero COVID policies may remain in place for Beijing over the next five years.

Those measures, he said, would include routine PCR tests, strict entry rules, regular health checks in residential neighbourhoods and public venues. There will also be rigorous monitoring and testing for people entering and leaving Beijing.

So Chinese citizens and foreigners willing to tolerate the travel quarantine will have to continue putting up with mass testing and lockdowns of entire cities over small outbreaks. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess…

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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