Premises flagged under HIDE to close for three days

Premises identified as potential Covid-19 hotspots through the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system will be closed for three days with immediate effect. “The enforcement activities (of the closure) on the premises would be carried out by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, local councils, the police and armed forces,” said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. The same applies to Ramadan bazaars that appear in the HIDE list. The government on 8 May (Saturday) published the first list of premises flagged as potential Covid-19 hotspots through the HIDE system. Most of the premises flagged as Covid-19 hotspots by HIDE are located in Selangor followed by Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, Sarawak, Sabah, Putrajaya, Perak, Kelantan as well as one each in Melaka and Negri Sembilan. (NST Online)

Health D-G suggests no elections during Emergency, school holiday until end-May

Malaysia could avoid facing a “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases by learning from India’s experience by not holding any elections for now including in Sarawak, and by barring interstate and inter-district travel, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said. “We propose no interstate travel, no inter-district travel whether for ‘balik kampung’ (return to hometowns) or so on,” he said in a press conference broadcast live on 8 May, his first such media appearance in about two months. “So now for the education sector, maybe we will recommend for the holiday to be extended to the end of this month, so that they stay at home and the chain of infection can be broken,” he said of the suggestion to have school holidays until the end of May. Another recommendation was to avoid mass gatherings, including by not holding any elections, for now, he said. Under the nationwide Emergency from January 11 until the expected end date of August 1, there will be no general election, state elections and by-elections in Malaysia. (Malay Mail)

Another MCO spells doom for sales industry, retailers warn

The implementation of another movement control order (MCO) could lead to devastating decline of the sales industry, retailers’ groups have said. Malaysia Retain Chain Association (MRCA) president Shirley Tay said that many were already struggling to recover from the effects of the earlier MCOs. Adding that the whole industry will go into a further slump, Tay said that despite slight improvements, businesses have yet to fully recover in spite of the relaxation of the SOPs. Tay’s remarks stand in contrast to the outlook for retail last month, when a majority of mall retailers state they have seen footfall returning to pre-Covid levels since MCO 2.0 was lifted. Meanwhile, Retail Group Malaysia managing director Tan Hai Hsin was reported saying at the time that while retail and food and beverage sales are still below 2019 levels, he expected a more positive outlook in the second quarter of 2021. (Malay Mail)

Survey shows Malaysia’s top employers offering jobs despite pandemic

A survey by LinkedIn has identified 15 top companies in Malaysia which have continued to hire new employees despite the ongoing pandemic that have severely affected business activities. According to GKK Consultants Sdn Bhd (GKK), the poll by the social networking website for business professionals revealed that more than 45,000 jobs are currently waiting to be filled in the country. The top employers comprise local companies and multinational corporations, including Petronas, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and Axiata Group. LinkedIn’s methodology covered seven key areas, namely, career progression, advancement and promotions, human resources skills, company stability and affinity, gender diversity and educational background. More than 67,000 people were retrenched just between January and July last year. (NST Online)

Klang Valley hospitals at maximum ICU capacity

Most hospitals in the Klang Valley have used up all their intensive care unit (ICU) beds to treat Covid-19 cases. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there are also other hospitals around the country that have surpassed 70% usage of ICU beds. “We are looking into how we can accommodate space to treat patients who are at severe stages (Stages Four and Five). “As such, the Health Ministry has issued letters to hospitals and state health department directors to take action to increase beds and their ICU capacity,” he said. He said such efforts could include converting critical care units (CCUs) or normal wards to ICUs. On the number of daily cases, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry expects the number of new cases to breach 5,000 by the end of May unless Malaysians do their part and break the chain of infection. (The Star)