List of potential hotspots to be released on Friday


THE Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) technology announced by the Science, Innovation and Technology Ministry will release a list of hotspots calculated as potential Covid clusters on Friday.

Its minister and National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said among the categories included in the list of hotspots are shopping malls, shopping outlets, bazaars and office premises.

“Anyone who has been to these spots will be identified as casual contact, and they are advised to self-monitor or isolate for symptoms.

“The HIDE system, which is considered as an enhancement to the existing contact tracing app MySejahtera, will notify casual contacts and they should be tested only if they have the symptoms,” he said in Putrajaya yesterday.

On May 1, the government said it would be reviewing the Movement Control Order, backed by the HIDE technology to identify areas or premises which are at high risk of Covid-19.

Khairy said the big data analysis calculated or performed by the artificial intelligence developed for HIDE is dependent on a few variables.

“The variables that are relevant to the prediction include positive cases that have been present at the places, exposure time and the ventilation of the space.

“The difference between actual clusters and HIDE is that the former takes on the history of transmissions whereas HIDE is faster and takes on immediate transmission information and predicts the safety of a premise to prevent further transmission,” he said.

He said HIDE will also be a preventive method to avoid taking drastic actions such as full lockdowns by utilising a targeted method.

“Although HIDE is a step forward to help the public avoid places with higher infection risk, they are still required to adhere to the standard operating procedures to minimise the chances of transmission.

“The technology is also more or less the extra step for premise owners to self-regulate and take the necessary steps to prevent future cluster formation,” he said.

For example, if an office premise has been flagged as a hotspot, then the owner will have to instruct workers to work from home, whereas if a shopping centre or restaurants are flagged, then gatekeeping will be enforced, occupancy lowered, dining options limited and workers will all have to be tested or screened in intervals.

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 3,120 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total active cases to 31,516 while 23 new fatalities were recorded.