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Daily round-up, Sep 8: Vietnam bar fire death toll rises; Najib not given special treatment in jail, says Malaysia; SFA updates mask advisory for wet market food handlers

Daily round-up, Sep 8: Vietnam bar fire death toll rises; Najib not given special treatment in jail, says Malaysia; SFA updates mask advisory for wet market food handlers

From top left to right, to bottom left and right: Scene of a deadly fire that engulfed a karaoke bar in Binh Duong province, north of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: AFP/STR, Vietnam News Agency); former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak (File photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan); Geylang Serai market in Singapore (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman); traffic in Singapore (File photo: CNA/Jeremy Long).

Let's get you up to speed with the day's stories.

32 dead in Vietnam karaoke bar fire

The death toll from a fire on Tuesday night at a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam has risen to 32. The blaze engulfed the second floor of the building, trapping customers and staff. The building's staircase and emergency exit were blocked by the dense smoke.

The initial cause of the fire was said to be an electrical short circuit, according to a report by authorities in Binh Duong province, north of Ho Chi Minh City. 

"I saw people up (at the rooftop), many of them were screaming. We thought we would die. Many people jumped," said one survivor, recounting his experience from a hospital bed. 

Former PM Najib not given house during incarceration, says Malaysia prisons department

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was not given special treatment while serving his sentence and does not live in a house on the premises, the Malaysian prisons department said.

The department was refuting a message that went viral on social media alleging that Najib had not been housed in a jail cell. The two-part message claimed that the source of the information was “a good friend whose cousin is a senior prison officer at Kajang”.

This is the second time that the prisons department has had to issue a denial that it has provided special VIP treatment for certain inmates.

Meanwhile, Utusan Malaysia reported on Thursday that Najib was placed in an isolation cell in Kajang Prison for his own safety as former prime minister.

Najib is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Kajang Prison after the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the conviction in his SRC International corruption trial.

Food handlers in wet markets only need to wear a mask if dealing with ready-to-eat, cooked food: SFA

Food handlers in wet markets only need to wear a mask or spit guard if they are handling cooked food and ready-to-eat food, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in an updated advisory. 

The agency said the updates were made to "provide greater clarity" to the industry on mask wearing requirements.

In a earlier advisory, SFA said all food handlers would still be required to wear a mask or spit guard "that is capable of preventing any substance expelled from his mouth or nose from contaminating food”. Face shields are not approved for use because they are not considered as being "effective physical barriers".

Decrease in number of fatal traffic accidents in first half of 2022: Police

The number of fatal road accidents decreased to 44 in the first half of 2022, down from 52 in the same period last year, according to data from the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

The number of fatalities from such accidents also decreased, from 58 in the first half of last year to 45 in the same period this year.

However, the total number of traffic accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities increased by 4.9 per cent. The total number of injured people and fatalities also increased by 3.3 per cent.

SPF said accidents involving motorcyclists and those involving elderly pedestrians remain "key concerns".

Source: CNA

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