Explain parameters of HIDE

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The federal government has been urged to explain how Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) identifies a Covid-19 hotspot or premises.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the sudden order by the National Security Council (NSC) for a premises to close immediately within three days was a major inconvenience.

“Without proper explanation of the science and data behind such a decision, it is oppressive and irresponsible towards business owners, especially when they are already struggling to stay afloat,” he said in a Facebook post on Sunday (May 9).

He added the issue was further compounded by   conflicting announcements by different ministers on the same issue.

Dr Yii said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement on HIDE might actually open up dangerous floodgates if the methodology and parameters were not properly explained.

He said the list under HIDE which consisted of shopping malls contradicted the cases from Covid-19 clusters which were linked to workplaces, community transmission and construction.

“Why are these factories or high-risk workplace areas not appearing on this list?” he asked.

Dr Yii said in order for pre-emptive actions to be effective, the government should not just look at closing down affected areas.

The move, he said, must be coupled with active case detection, adequate testing and quick isolation in potential hotspots.

“That is why clear and specific parameters used to determine the list must be transparently made known to remove any perception of bias, unfairness or even oppression.

“These are very important and must be transparent as they involve making decisions for hundreds of premises all over the country,” he said.

The MP said if proper explanation, adequate planning and guidelines for businesses were made, businesses were more than willing to comply and the public could also make the necessary adjustments.