KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 1,660 locations have been identified as “at risk” and have the potential to turn into Covid-19 clusters, as compared to 1,170 locations last week.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the detection was made yesterday via the new Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system.
“Aside from that, the collected data reveals that a total of 90 per cent of Covid-19 spread happens at 0.2 per cent premises that are registered with the MySejahtera mobile application.
“This is important information so that we can implement targeted interventions instead of announcing a big-scale Movement Control Order (MCO) for the area,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.
To ensure a more accurate HIDE analysis, Khairy urged all premises nationwide that had yet to register with MySejahtera to do so as soon as possible, in line with the government’s instruction to make QR code scan compulsory.
He said the government also encouraged residential areas and meeting rooms in all buildings to have their own QR code to detect the movements of those who were either Covid-19 positive or in the high-risk group.
“The government also wants workers dormitories to have their own QR code for HIDE analysis,” he said.
According to Khairy, those who had visited the hotspots would be categorised as “casual contacts” and they were encouraged to do self-health checks.
“Since March, the MySejahtera system has been notifying people if they are casual contacts. If you are flagged as a casual contact, it does not mean you need to test for Covid-19. It (the test) is only if you are symptomatic.”
Responding to allegations that MySejahtera had not been identifying casual contacts, Khairy dismissed the claim, saying that so far, the government had sent out over 800,000 notifications via the mobile app.
“MySejahtera has identified casual contacts since March, so the statement saying MySejahtera is not notifying casual contact is not true.”
Khairy further explained that locations flagged as Covid-19 clusters by the Health Ministry were not the same as premises identified by HIDE as hotspots.
“Clusters announced by the Health Ministry are confirmed clusters while the hotspots identified on HIDE are places that can potentially turn into a cluster if intervention is not taken,” he said.
Asked if HIDE would be an invasion of privacy, Khairy responded in the negative, saying the public are only required to scan the QR code at residential areas or buildings.
“We are not asking you to scan the QR code when you enter your respective homes.”
The reason for this, said Khairy, was due to the increase in the number of positive cases involving large gatherings.
Based on experience, Khairy said Covid-19 cases started to soar during social gatherings, adding that the HIDE system was an improved platform for contact tracing.
“I just want to remind everyone that our critical care capacity at hospitals is nearing its limits, that’s why we have to enhance the contact tracing without sacrificing the economy as well.
“We don’t want to have a full-blown shutdown, which is why we came up with this targeted intervention that is predictive,” he said.