Tag Archives: Netherlands

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

The US aims to block the construction of new advanced chip fabs in China and countries of concern like Russia.

Here is what you need to know…

 

US To Fund Building Of Advanced Chip Fabs!

The US Congress just passed the historic CHIPS and Science Act (HR 4346) – a massive $280 billion bill designed to bolster innovation and tech hubs in the United States.

The legislation passed with a Senate vote of 64-33, and a House vote of 243-187, approving :

  • $76 billion of funding to revive and boost chip production in the United States
  • $81 billion for the National Science Foundation over 5 years, for research, equipment and STEM education
  • Almost $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology

TSMC, Intel and Samsung are expected to benefit from the billions of dollars of funding, which would subsidise their construction of new advanced chip fabs in the United States.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

There is however a big caveat in the legislation that the White House is expected to sign – any company that receives funding will be barred from building new advanced chip fabs in China and other countries of concern, like Russia.

The CHIPS and Sciences Act specifically bars companies that receive federal funding from “materially expanding” production of chips more advanced than 28 nanometres (28 nm) in countries of concern like China and Russia, for 10 years.

28 nm chips are not state-of-art, with production first starting more than 10 years ago – in 2011. However, they are still used in many applications, and China is free to keep producing these chips.

This move though will essentially limit development of advanced chips in China, by blocking foreign chipmakers from investing in more advanced fabs.

Intel had earlier lobbied hard against this move. In late 2021, Intel wanted to expand production in China but was pressured to sell its Dalian wafer plant to South Korea’s SK Hynix. Intel now only has chip packaging and testing facilities in China.

But that changed, and now Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is a big proponent of the bill, even suggesting that it might forego building its Ohio mega fab and shift it to Europe if the legislation did not pass.

Read more : China Bans Taiwan Food Over Pelosi, But Not Chips!

Currently, the only semiconductor companies investing in fabs in China are Samsung and TSMC. So if they choose to accept US funding, both companies will have to stop building fabs that can produce chips that are more advanced than 28 nm.

Of the potential recipients of US funding, TSMC is the only company making relatively advanced chips in China. Its Nanjing fabs currently make 28 nm and more advanced 16 nm chips.

Unless TSMC spurns US funding, it won’t be able to invest in more advanced fabs in China. This will force China to rely on its own SMIC to develop more advanced chipmaking technologies.

While SMIC has had some success with a 7nm process using older DUV technology, it came at the expense of yield and chip complexity.

Unless China is somehow able to develop its own EUV technology, it’s pretty much end game for more advanced chip production in China… for ten years.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

US Quietly Expands Chip Equipment Ban To Fabs In China

In addition to the looming CHIPS Act, the US government also expanded its ban on the sale of machines for fabricating advanced chips.

The US government had earlier banned the sale of tools that allow China to manufacture chips at 10 nm or smaller. That ban was just extended to include tools that would allow the manufacture of chips 14 nm or smaller.

American equipment makers like LAM Research and KLA Corp. have received letters about this expanded ban, which appears to be limited to logic chips (like computer processors), but not memory chips.

According to the US Commerce Department, the move was meant to impair China’s ability to manufacture advanced chips :

The Biden Administration is focused on impairing PRC efforts to manufacture advanced semiconductors to address significant national security risks to the United States.

However, this move appears to be merely officiating what is already being practiced – the US Commerce Department had already declined many licences to sell 14nm fab equipment.

The Biden Administration is also pushing the Netherlands and Japan to ban ASML Holdings NV and Nikon Corp from selling advanced chip making equipment to China.

 

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Was WHO DG Dr. Tedros Just Arrested By Interpol?!

Was WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros just arrested for crimes against humanity?!

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

 

Claim : WHO DG Dr. Tedros Was Just Arrested!

After WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus announced that the monkeypox outbreak was a global emergency, Vancouver Times posted a story claiming that he was soon arrested for crimes against humanity.

It’s a long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the current director of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been arrested by Interpol and is being held in prison for crimes against humanity and genocide. This comes as police agencies across the world have begun targeting politicians, businessmen, and corporate leaders for their role in the “plandemic,” and for pushing unnecessary and deadly vaccines on the human population.

Read more : Was Bill Gates arrested for crimes against humanity?!

 

Truth : WHO DG Dr. Tedros Was Not Arrested By Interpol?!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by Vancouver Times to generate page views and money from gullible people.

Fact #1 : Vancouver Times Is A Fake News Website

Vancouver Times is a “content aggregator” (copy and paste) website that is known for creating fake news to generate more page views and money.

To look legitimate, they copy and paste news from legitimate news organisations. To drive traffic, they create fake news, sometimes masked as “satire”.

To give themselves a veneer of deniability, they label themselves as a “satire website” in their About Us section.

Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.

Here are some of their fake news that we debunked :

Fact #2 : Dr. Tedros Was Not Arrested

Just to be clear – Dr. Tedros was not arrested, or charged with crimes against humanity, by INTERPOL.

For one thing – Dr. Tedros issued a public statement on World Drowning Prevention Day, one day after Vancouver Times posted their fake story.

You may also note that neither the INTERPOL or any mainstream media announced the arrest, which would have been worldwide news.

Yet, there has been zero coverage, and that’s because it never happened.

Fact #3 : INTERPOL Has No Jurisdiction In Any Country

INTERPOL is an international organisation that facilitates police cooperation between different countries.

It acts as a liaison between police organisations, and does NOT have any jurisdiction in any country.

Just in case there is any confusion, INTERPOL does NOT have agents with the power to arrest anyone in any country around the world.

Fact #4 : Bill Gates + Klaus Schwab Arrests Were False

To bait conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination activists into sharing their fake news, Vancouver Times falsely claimed that both Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab are under investigation, and could soon be arrested.

They were both falsely claimed to have been arrested last year, by the infamous Conservative Beaver.

Fact #5 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe + Effective

COVID-19 vaccines underwent massive clinical trials, and were only approved after they were proven to be safe and effective.

In addition, they were constantly monitored after they received their approvals, which picked up rare side effects after they were administered to billions of people.

Anti-vaccination activists have often claimed that those who received the vaccine would die. Yet, the opposite was true – the vaccines are not only safe, they are effective in protecting people from getting hospitalised or dying from COVID-19.

Even prominent antivaxxer Steve Kirsch is healthy and well, despite being fully-vaccinated against COVID-19!

Read more : Antivax Steve Kirsch Admits He’s Fully-Vaccinated!

Fact #6 : There Is No Such Thing As A Publication Ban

Vancouver Times likes to use the “media blackout” claim, to explain why you can’t find any reputable media outlet reporting on the arrest of Dr. Tedros.

That’s utter and complete bullshit. No one – not a judge, not even the US government – can control the worldwide media, or prevent anyone from writing about his arrest.

You can also be sure that even if the mainstream media refused to run the story, it would have been reported by many other websites and bloggers.

Yet, not a single blogger or online website published their account of this incredible story? That’s because IT NEVER HAPPENED…

Fact #7 : Mainstream Media + Big Tech Would Have Loved The Hype

Vancouver Times is gaslighting you about how mainstream media and Big Tech want to hide the “truth” about Dr. Tedros’ (non-existent) arrest.

They would all loved such shocking news, because it would have driven tons of traffic and engagement to their websites / platforms.

In fact, that was precisely why Vancouver Times created the fake story – to drive traffic, for the ad money.

Everything that Vancouver Times publishes should be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Please help us fight fake news websites like Vancouver Times – SHARE this fact check out, 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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Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

Did China successfully fabricate 7nm chips, despite US sanctions on advanced chip manufacturing technology?

Well, yes, but not quite. Here is what you need to know about China’s mysterious 7nm chips!

 

China Made 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions!

A TechInsights report recently concluded that China has successfully created 7nm chips since last year.

This caused quite a ruckus, because it essentially meant that China jumped two generations ahead in chip manufacturing technology!

The TechInsights team bought a MinerVa mining ASIC which used a custom chip that has been manufactured by China’s SMIC since July 2021.

When they examined the chip, they discovered that it was fabricated on a 7nm process that appears to be a “close copy” of a 7nm process used by TSMC – the Taiwanese foundry giant.

The MinerVa chip is small – at just 19.3 mm², with 120 chips populating the MinerVa board. Each mining ASIC has 3 of these boards, for a total of 360 chips and a total power consumption of 3300 watts.

This discovery is deeply concerning to many people, because it meant that China has more advanced chip manufacturing technology than is even available in the United States or EU.

After all, US sanctioned the sale of advanced chip manufacturing technology to China – which was meant to crippled China’s ability to manufacture such chips.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer used this report to stress the danger of delaying the $50 billion subsidy package for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.

Members of both sides know that America’s chips crisis is sending shock waves across the economy.

It is endangering our national security. […] China’s top chips maker has now likely advanced its tech by two generations, threatening U.S. competitiveness.

But the situation really isn’t as dire as many people make it out to be…

 

SMIC / China Barely Made Those 7nm Chips

After the report was released, the Internet fell into two main camps – American politicians and China hawks bemoaning the “loss” of Western chip making advantage, and pro-CCP netizens celebrating it.

First, let me start by congratulating China / SMIC on achieving this feat despite being hobbled by US sanctions on crucial chipmaking technology.

Whether China / SMIC “copied / stole / bought” the technology knowhow from TSMC whose 7nm process it closely resembles, it is still a remarkable achievement.

That said, SMIC / China barely made those 7nm chips, and here are the reasons why…

SMIC manufactured these 7nm chips using older Deep Ultraviolet Lithography (DUV) machines, instead of the state-of-art Extreme Ultraviolet Light (EUV) lithography machines made by Dutch company ASML.

This isn’t extraordinary in itself – TSMC and Samsung had much earlier developed 7nm process nodes using the older DUV machines. However, this comes at the cost of “increased process complexity and design rule restrictions“.

That is likely why the MinerVa chip is not only very small, it actually lacks SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) that is critical in processors that run our computers and smartphones.

The simpler design and small size allow SMIC to obtain sufficient workable chips, even with a poor yield. However, the cost of chip would be much higher than if it was manufactured on a higher-quality process.

So for all intents and purposes – this should be considered as a niche / prototype 7nm process, and not a true 7nm process node.

On top of that, SMIC apparently isn’t capable of producing large quantities of these 7nm chips, suggesting either a yield problem, or difficulty in scaling up.

MinerVa has not been able to deliver the mining ASICs based on these SMIC 7nm chips in large numbers. A Bitcoin mining company – Stronghold Digital Mining, for example, said that it ordered 15,000 miners from MinerVa but only received about 3,200 units as of March 2022.

For China / SMIC to present a true “threat” as far as chipmaking is concerned, it would have to be capable of manufacturing MILLIONS of chips, not thousands.

Regardless of whether the Americans are howling in despair, or the pro-CCP netizens are howling in delight, China really does not have true 7nm chipmaking capability for mass production yet.

And even if they somehow manage to improve and scale up this 7nm DUV process, they cannot make more advanced chips without EUV machines made by ASML.

As long as the Dutch government holds firm on blocking sale of ASML’s EUV machines to China, this is likely as far as they can go… unless they invade Taiwan, which is where TSMC is based and has the world’s most advanced chip manufacturing facilities.

 

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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 Dutch Gov Close Farms To Fight Climate Change?!

Did the Dutch government just close thousands of farms and cattle ranches to fight climate change?!

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

 

Claim : Dutch Government Closed Farms To Fight Climate Change!

People have been sharing videos of angry farmers blocking roads with their tractors, claiming that they are protesting the closure of farms and cattle ranchers by the Dutch government.

Such videos are now being spread in pro-CCP groups as “evidence” of corrupt Western governments, or how Western governments oppress the common people.

28 June 2022
As the Dutch government closed dozens of farms and cattle ranches to reduce nitrogen by 30%.
Angry and hungry farmers blocked the roads nationwide
Corrupt Dutch govt trying to artificially create food shortage.

Following politicians’ decision to close dozens of farms and cattle ranches to reduce nitrogen to comply with absurd EU rules on nitrogen pollution, angry Dutch farmers have issued an ultimatum and are threatening to block the country’s airports, ports and distribution centers.

The Dutch government wants to close 17,000 farms out of 50,000 by 2030 to reduce Nitrogen emissions. Their “leaders” have bought into the climate change hysteria during a time of impending global food shortages. These bozos have a few screws missing.

 

Truth : Dutch Government Did NOT Close Farms To Fight Climate Change!

These posts appear to be an intentional “misunderstanding” of the facts surrounding these Dutch farmers’ protests.

These protests have been covered extensively, and so have the Dutch government’s proposal. So it seems incredulous that people would continue to lie about this issue.

Fact #1 : Dutch Government Did NOT Close Any Farm / Cattle Ranch

Let’s start with the most basic fact – the Dutch government did not close any farm or cattle ranch. This is complete and utter nonsense.

There are no laws in the Netherlands that would permit the Dutch government to forcibly take over, or shut down, any farm or cattle ranch.

This kind of blatant lie can only perpetuate in the minds of conspiracy nutcases, and Chinese netizens because only authoritarian governments (like the CCP in China) are capable of such actions.

Seizing and closing farms and cattle ranch may be possible for the government in China, but not in the Netherlands.

In fact, the Dutch government has offered BUY OUT (not close) farms near nature reserves.

Fact #2 : Dutch Farmers Have Been Protesting Since 2019!

What many of these “concerned netizens” (intentionally?) do not tell you is that Dutch farmers have been protesting against such climate change laws since 2019.

Dutch farmers protest in October 2019

Fact #3 : The Government Was Complying With A Court Order

This issue actually started way back in May 2019, the Dutch Administrative Court of the Council of State (the highest administrative body in the Netherlands) ruled that the Dutch government breached EU rules on protecting nature reserves from ammonia and nitrous oxide.

The Dutch Administrative Court suspended permits for all construction projects that pollute the atmosphere with nitrogen compounds, stalling the building of new homes, roads and airport runways… as well as the expansion of dairy, pig and poultry farms.

Fact #4 : Dutch Government Tried Other Measures First

To comply with the court order, the Dutch government tried other measures first.

For example, in 2020, they cut the maximum speed limit on roads in the Netherlands from 130 km/h to just 100 km/h for most of the day, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.

The government also allocated more money to help farmers reduce emissions from pigs, and changed the composition of animal feed.

Fact #5 : Dutch Farms Produce A Lot Of Pollution

The problem is partly caused by Dutch farmers themselves. Their farms are highly concentrated, with four times more animal biomass per hectare than the EU average.

Dutch agriculture is responsible for 40% of the nitrogen pollution in the Netherlands. The entire construction sector, for example, is only responsible for 0.6% of nitrogen emissions.

Thanks to its large livestock sector, and intensive use of fertiliser, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter – is also one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in Europe.

Fact #6 : Only Farms Near Nature Reserves Are In Danger

Depending on their proximity to nature reserves (Natura-2000 areas), Dutch farms will have to reduce their nitrogen emissions by 12% to 70%.

Those located in or close to the Natura-2000 areas will be particularly hard-hit by the new nitrogen limits :

  • 40% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value (< 255 mole per hectare) in 2025,
  • 50% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value in 2030, and
  • 74% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value in 2035.

Fact #7 : Provincial Government To Formulate Emission Reduction Plan

While the Dutch government came up with the plan to reduce nitrogen emissions to meet EU requirements, it is up to the Dutch provinces to develop the necessary measures to hit those targets.

Provincial governments have a year to formulate their own plans, to meet the pollution reduction targets.

Fact #8 : This Is Part Of EU Natura 2000 Conservation Efforts

This isn’t just a Dutch issue, it is actually part of the EU effort to protect the Natura 2000 network of vulnerable and endangered plant and animal habitats.

The Natura 2000 sites cover some 18% of the European Union land area, and 8% of its marine territory.

Fact #9 : Dutch Government Is Financing Agricultural Reforms

To help farmers meet those targets, the Dutch government has earmarked an extra €24.3 billion (about US$25.6 billion) to finance agricultural reforms and their existing buy-out programs.

Farmers who accept the government buy-out program can still open a new farm at a less sensitive location, as long as they substantially reduce nitrogen emissions.

Fact #10 : Protests Are ALLOWED In Real Democracies

What Chinese netizens may not be aware is that protests are not only common, they are allowed in real democracies.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, for example, defended the farmers’ right to protest, but reminded them not to break the law :

Freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are a vital part of our democratic society, and I will always defend them.

But … it is not acceptable to create dangerous situations, it is not acceptable to intimidate officials, we will never accept that.

With the exception of a few farmers setting bales of hay on fire outside town halls and near roads, and attacking police officers, the majority of farmers have protested the proposed plan peacefully.

So what the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens are deriding as chaos, is really just people expressing their real freedom of speech, which includes the right to protest. Try that in China, and see what that gets you.

 

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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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WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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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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Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

Over 560 monkeypox cases have now been confirmed in at least 25 countries outside of Africa!

Find out if the monkeypox outbreak could become a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally. although the WHO has said that it is unlikely to become a pandemic like COVID-19.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 25 countries outside of Africa, with over 560 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
United Kingdom 179 179
Spain 120 120
Portugal 96 96
Canada 26 37 63
Germany 33 33
Netherlands 26 26
France 17 17
United States 15 15
Italy 14 14
Belgium 9 9
Czech Republic 5 5
Switzerland 4 4
UAE 4 4
Sweden 3 3
Ireland 2 1 3
Argentina 2 2
Australia 2 2
Denmark 2 2
Israel 2 2
Slovenia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Finland 1 1
Malta 1 1
Mexico 1 1
Thailand 1 1
TOTAL 568 56 617

 

Monkeypox Cases May Increase, But Unlikely To Become Pandemic

On 30 May 2022, the World Health Organisation’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, gave a public briefing on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak.

Here is a summary of the key points Dr. Lewis shared in that public session :

  • She does not expect the monkeypox outbreak to turn into another pandemic like COVID-19.
  • There are still many unknowns about this outbreak, including how exactly it is spreading.
  • The suspension of mass smallpox immunisation decades ago may have resulted in increased transmission.
  • Vast majority of current cases seen in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.
  • There is a higher proportion of people with fewer visible lesions that are more concentrated in the genital region, and sometimes nearly impossible to see. This is a danger because they are infectious even though their lesions are not visible.
  • There is a window of opportunity to shut down the outbreak so it does not become endemic in new areas.

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, although if it spreads to susceptible rodent populations, it could become endemic in those areas.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

Countries have also started purchasing smallpox vaccines :

  • 19 May 2022 : Spain’s Ministry of Health announced that it was in the process of purchasing thousands of doses of smallpox vaccines
  • 24 May 2022 : CDC announced that the US is in the process of releasing some JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine doses for people who are “high risk”.
  • 25 May 2022 : the German government announced that it was buying 40,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.
  • 26 May 2022 : the UK Health Security Agency announced that it purchased 20,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.

 

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Monkeypox Outbreak In 20 Countries : Is It A New Pandemic?

The Monkeypox outbreak has been confirmed in at least 20 countries outside of Africa!

Find out what Monkeypox is all about, and whether it is a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : Is It A Pandemic Risk?

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

However, it became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014.

There were also several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019), but nothing matched the latest 2022 outbreak.

As of 25 May 2022, there were 230 confirmed cases in at least 20 countries outside of Africa, and suspected cases in two other countries.

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Argentina 1 1
Australia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Belgium 6 1 7
Canada 15 1 16
Czech Republic 1 1
Denmark 2 2
Finland 1 1
France 5 5
Germany 5 5
Israel 1 1
Italy 6 2 8
Morocco 3 3
Netherlands 6 6
Portugal 49 49
Slovenia 1 1
Spain 51 43 94
Sweden 1 1
Switzerland 2 2
UAE 1 1
United Kingdom 71 71
United States 2 6 8
TOTAL 230 56 286

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : More Deadly, Unlikely To Cause A Pandemic

Monkeypox is more deadly than COVID-19, with mortality as high as 10% depending on the strain :

  • West African strain : 1% to 3%
  • Central African strain : 10%

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, even though it is really abnormal for so many outbreaks to occur simultaneously.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

We have already worked to secure sufficient supply of effective treatments and vaccines to prevent those exposed from contracting monkeypox and treating people who’ve been affected.
– Dr. Raj Panjabi, White House Pandemic Office.

 

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ICJ To Judge Malaysia Over COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Cases?!

Is the International Court of Justice (ICJ) going to judge Malaysia over side effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine?!

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

 

Claim : ICJ To Judge Malaysia Over COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Cases!

People are sharing a video and a message on WhatsApp, claiming that the International Court of Justice – ICJ – will soon judge Malaysia over side effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine!

They also claim that both the Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, and the Director-General of Health, Noor Hisham Abdullah, could stand before the ICJ and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against the people.

The post is very long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

[Khairy and Noor Hisham will face the International Court of Justice]

Malaysia will be the first country in the offce world to immediately refer AEFI cases or deaths due to Covid-19 vaccines to civil, criminal and judicial courts…

 

Truth : ICJ Is NOT Going To Judge Malaysia Over Vaccine Injury Cases!

This is yet another example of misinformation created by anti-vaccination activists to mislead you into thinking that the COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.

Even though I’m no lawyer, these facts will show you why this is nothing more than just theatrics…

Fact #1 : ICJ Only Accepts Cases From Countries

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Its role is to settle legal disputes between States (countries), and to give advisory opinions on legal questions by authorised UN organs and agencies.

The ICJ only entertains legal disputes submitted by States (countries). It does not entertain legal disputes brought forward by any individual or corporation.

So it is most peculiar for any individual to claim that they filed any case with the ICJ…

Fact #2 : PCA Only Accepts Cases From Countries

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a non-UN intergovernmental organisation, also located in The Hague, Netherlands.

Tribunals under the PCA only have jurisdiction for disputes that are based on the PCA founding documents (the Conventions on Pacific Settlement of International Disputes), or based on bilateral and multilateral treaties.

More importantly, the PCA only arbitrates between member countries, and does not accept cases from individuals or companies.

So it is peculiar for any individual to claim that they intend to file, or have already filed, a case with the PCA.

Fact #3 : Malaysia Is Not An ICC Member

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organisation and tribunal, also based in The Hague, Netherlands.

It only has jurisdiction in States (countries) that have signed and ratified the Rome Statute. While Malaysia signed the Rome Statute in March 2019, it has not ratified it and is therefore not yet a member of the ICC.

The ICC therefore does not have jurisdiction over Malaysia, and filing any complaint with the ICC over any matter regarding Malaysia would be pointless.

Fact #4 : There Is No Arbitration Court Of Malaysia

If you look at the letter that the lawyer, Mohamad Zainuddin, held up as evidence of the court case, it actually refers to an Arbitration Court of Malaysia.

IN ARBITRATION COURT OF MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR

As far as I can tell – there is no such Arbitration Court of Malaysia. The leading arbitration institution in Malaysia is the Asia International Arbitration Centre (AIAC).

I could be wrong of course, so if you do know of such an arbitration court in Malaysia, do let me know.

Fact #5 : The Letter Appears To Refer To A Civil Claim

Again, I’m no lawyer, but the letter he held appears to be referring to a civil claim for damages.

ADJUDICATION MATTER NO:L-10-011-2022

SPECIAL TRIBUNAL OF ADJUDICATION
COVID-19 EXPERIMENTAL-PREMATURE VACCINE

[Order 15 Rule 1, 4, 12 of the Rules of High Court 2012 [Class Action] [The Application by Claimants for Special Tribunal of Adjudication for Civil Liability and Special Damages including Exemplary Compensation against twenty [20] Respondents in this action being fully responsible in executing the Covid-19 Experimental-premature Vaccine]

The letter does not refer to the ICC, the PCA or even the ICJ. Neither does it mention any charges of crimes against humanity.

Fact #6 : COVID-19 Vaccines Are No Longer Experimental

The letter refers to the COVID-19 vaccine as “experimental-premature”, which is false.

The COVID-19 vaccines are only experimental whilst they are under development, or undergoing clinical trials.

They are no longer experimental once they successfully clear their clinical trials, and receive either an emergency use authorisation or full approval from a health authority like the US FDA or EMA.

Phase 3 trials, incidentally, ended in 2020 for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, and they both received their EUA in December 2020.

I should also point out that the Pfizer vaccine received its full FDA approval on 23 August 2021, while the AstraZeneca vaccine received its full EU approval on 29 January 2021.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also renewed the authorisation for these vaccines :

  • Moderna Spikevax : 4 October 2021
  • Pfizer COMIRNATY : 3 November 2021
  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen : 3 January 2022

None of those COVID-19 vaccines are experimental. They have all passed their clinical tests, and have been approved. You should also know that no experimental vaccine can be administered to the public.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between EUA vs Full FDA Approval?

Fact #7 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe

The COVID-19 vaccines were proven safe and effective in the massive Phase 2/3 trials that involved hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

These COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are much larger than the usual clinical trials for new drugs or vaccines.

On top of that, they continue to undergo post-marketing surveillance, to catch very rare side effects like myocarditis (risk of less than 1 in million).

With so much clinical data, there is no way anyone can say that the vaccines are dangerous, or experimental.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between Full FDA Approval vs. EUA?
Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Now that you know the facts, please help to fight fake news – SHARE this article out!

And please protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating them against COVID-19!

 

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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 Sumatra Earthquake Topple These Shipping Containers?!

Watch the viral video of shipping containers toppling over, and find out if it happened during the Sumatra earthquake!

 

Claim : Sumatra Earthquake Toppled These Shipping Containers!

At 9:39 AM on 25 February 2022, people across South East Asia felt the tremors of a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Almost immediately, netizens started sharing pictures and videos of people evacuating buildings, including a viral video of shipping containers toppling over.

Some people alleged it happened in Port Klang, Malaysia while others claim it happened in Pekan Baru, Indonesia.

 

Truth : Storm Eunice Toppled Shipping Containers, Not Sumatra Earthquake!

This is yet another example of fake news circulating on WhatsApp, and here are the facts…

Fact #1 : Video Was Recorded 6 Days Earlier

The video is genuine, but was recorded 6 days before the Sumatra earthquake on 19 February 2022.

Fact #2 : It Happened At Rotterdam Port

The video was not recorded at Port Klang in Malaysia, or Pekan Baru in Indonesia.

The video was recorded at the Port of Rotterdam – Europe’s largest seaport, and half a world away from the Sumatra earthquake.

Fact #3 : Tremors Were Mild In Malaysia

While many people in the Klang Valley felt the tremors from the Sumatra earthquake, they were relatively mild.

They were certainly not strong enough to topple shipping containers, even empty ones.

Fact #4 : Storm Eunice Toppled Those Containers

The containers seen in the video were toppled by Storm Eunice, which recorded wind gusts of up to 196 km per hour (122 miles per hour).

Four people were killed in The Netherlands, not by those containers, but by fallen trees.

Please help us fight fake news by sharing this article, or the fact check video above!

 

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New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across the globe, Malaysia has initiated new measures to block it from reaching our shores.

Here is what you need to know…

 

New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

On 1 December 2021, the Malaysia Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin announced a series of new measures to block the Omicron variant from reaching our shores.

This decision came after 20 countries reported over 200 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 :

Country Omicron
Cases
Country Omicron
Cases
South Africa 128 Austria 4
Botswana 19 Brazil 2
Portugal 13 Canada 2
The Netherlands 12 Japan 2
United Kingdom 9 Denmark 2
Australia 6 Spain 1
Hong Kong 5 Reunion Island (France) 1
Germany 5 Belgium 1
Italy 4 Czech Republic 1
Israel 4 Sweden 1

 

How Malaysia Intends To To Block Omicron Variant!

Temporary Travel Ban

Malaysia will no longer allow flights from or transiting through countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, will be blocked.

These are the eight (8) countries that the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) has listed under the travel ban :

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi

There is also a temporary travel ban for non-Malaysian citizens from those countries, including travellers who have been in those countries during the last 14 days prior to arrival.

Malaysian citizens and holders of long-term passes (PR status, spouse visa, MM2H and resident pass) are still ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, subject to these restrictions :

  • Irrespective of their vaccination status, they must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a quarantine station.
  • They must undergo three RT-PCR COVID-19 tests :
    – within 72 hours before departure,
    – on arrival in Malaysia, and
    – on the 10th day of the mandatory quarantine
  • A risk assessment will be conducted on the 14th day of quarantine, which may be extended if the traveller is symptomatic.

Malaysian citizens who are planning to visit the listed countries are NOT ALLOWED to continue with their travel plans.

Vaccinated Travel Lane

Arrangements to create a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, have been postponed.

In addition, the Malaysia-Singapore VTL programme for both air and land travel has been amended to require travellers to undergo additional COVID-19 self-tests on the 3rd and 7th day after arrival.

They must then report their test results in MySejahtera.

Monitoring Of Countries With Omicron Variant Cases

The Ministry of Health (KKM) will monitor and provide the other government ministries with a DAILY LIST of countries with Omicron variant cases, or at high risk.

Strengthening Of International Gateways

The Immigration Department of Malaysia has immediately STOPPED the use of the Autogate system.

Flights carrying passengers from the listed countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, are only allowed to enter Malaysia through KLIA.

Airlines are responsible for identifying passengers travelling from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries. This information must be submitted to the KLIA Health Office for easier handling of the arrivals.

MAHB is required to create a special “gate” and path for travellers from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, to undergo a health screening before undergoing their special quarantine.

International Students + Foreign Workers

International students and foreign workers from countries with Omicron variant cases, or high-risk countries, will be temporarily BANNED from entering Malaysia.

Langkawi International Tourism Bubble

Tourists from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries; or those with history of travel to those countries in the past 14 days, are NOT ALLOWED to participate in the Langkawi International Tourism Bubble.

Malaysian citizens (Langkawi residents) returning from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, are ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, but only through KLIA and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a special quarantine station.

Foreign tourists who are confirmed to be positive with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be isolated and treated in a private hospital, at their own cost.

 

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AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Approved In Malaysia!

The AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccine booster doses have been approved in Malaysia!

Here is what we know so far…

 

AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Approved In Malaysia!

On 17 November 2021, the Malaysia Drug Control Authority (DCA) agreed to give conditional approval for the use of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines as booster dose in Malaysia.

Both AstraZeneca and Sinovac booster doses were approved for all individuals 18 years and above who received the same primary series vaccine.

This is homologous vaccination, the opposite of heterologous vaccination being carried out right now with Sinovac recipients receiving the Pfizer booster dose.

Read more : Sinovac Vaccine Recipients To Get Pfizer Booster Dose!

The DCA also announced the conditional registration of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by SK Bioscience Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Malaysia has now approved three AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers :

  • AstraZeneca Nijmegen B.V., Netherlands
  • Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd., Thailand
  • SK Bioscience Co., Ltd., South Korea

 

How Will AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Be Given In Malaysia?

The AstraZeneca and Sinovac booster dose will be given after these intervals :

  • AstraZeneca : 6 months after Dose 2
  • Sinovac : 3 to 6 months after Dose 2

While both vaccines have been approved as booster doses, it does not mean that everyone will get to receive them.

The COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force – Booster (CITF-B) will target specific groups to receive these booster doses, which will be detailed later…

Read more : Can You And Should You Get A Sinovac Booster Dose?

 

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