Immediate 3-day closure for HIDE-listed Covid-19 hotspots

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 May 2021:

All premises identified as potential avenues for Covid-19 spread under the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) early warning system have been ordered closed for three days – effective immediately.

See full list at: Most KL, Selangor malls seen as potential Covid-19 hotspots with HIDE

This was announced by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a statement today – with these affected premises to be monitored by personnel from the police, Armed Forces, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry plus local authorities.

There was an immediate response urging the government NOT to publicly release the HIDE list – in a joint statement by three associations representing the shopping mall and retail industries nationwide.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association and Malaysia Retail Chain Association urged: “We believe that in view of the inaccurate information on the hotspot listing, this call to close for sanitisation is premature and will cause irreversible damage to perception and business recovery and survival.

“This proposed closure should be held in abeyance until the data used in HIDE has been confirmed accurate and the hotspot locations are accurately identified.” The associations also reiterated safety of shoppers is top priority at shopping malls and with all required SOPs in place including enhanced and regular cleaning and sanitisation measures, the assured malls are safe places to visit.

Ismail Sabri also said the imposition of Movement Control Orders (MCO) will also be based on this HIDE early warning system jointly developed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Health Ministry, based on data gathered through the MySejahtera app – indicating areas where there are high public traffic flows visited by individuals who later tested positive for Covid-19.

As such, he stressed any MCO announcements will be made only by the federal government after a decision is made by the National Security Council (MKN).

The latest to have MCO imposed – from May 10 to 23 – are areas within Kuantan district in Pahang plus six areas in Penang (Timur Laut, Seberang Perai Tengah, Seberang Perai Selatan, Mukim 12 Barat Daya, Butterworth and Mukim 14 Seberang Perai Utara).

He further announced the closure of all Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars as of Monday at areas placed under MCO. For these bazaars operating in Conditional MCO and recovery MCO areas, he said they will be closed immediately for three days if they get listed in the HIDE early warning system.

Ismail Sabri also said non-contact sporting activities – like jogging and cycling – are allowed as long a participants maintain 1.5 distance apart.