From next Monday, May 10, all interstate and inter-district travel will not be allowed unless one has police permission to do so. This was announced by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

The defence minister also said that social, education and economic activities that can lead to crowding will not be allowed from Monday onwards. The brakes are also on for official, social and face-to-face activities by both the government and the private sector.

Also, all premises listed in the government’s new Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system will have to be shut for three days. This takes effect immediately, which means from Sunday, May 9. Most of the popular malls in the Klang Valley such as Pavilion, Suria KLCC, MidValley Megamall, 1 Utama and Sunway Pyramid, among others, have been flagged by HIDE.

As for supermarkets and hypermarkets, many Giant, Aeon and Lotus’s branches are in the list, along with neighbourhood 99 Speedmart outlets and Ramadan bazaars.

This latest raft of measures comes as Malaysia recorded 4,519 new Covid-19 cases today, the second consecutive day that total infections have breached the 4k mark.

Today also saw health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah conduct a live press conference after 64 days. In his comeback PC, the D-G said that hospitals nationwide are running out of ICU beds as more and more new cases are serious ones. Also, there are a lot more people in their 20s and 30s getting Covid, and mutant variants of the virus such as the South African N501Y strain is already spreading in Malaysia.

“Now the cases are very high. If you are infected, come to the hospital, if we do not have ICU beds, we are in trouble. So then, we don’t want to end up like countries, where we have to select who will live and who will die,” he said. Dr Noor Hisham was most probably referring to India, where the healthcare system has bucked and people are struggling to find hospital beds and oxygen supply.

Remember that line: stay home, stay safe.

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