Immediately suspend HIDE news announcement, mall operators and retailers tell MOSTI

KUALA LUMPUR (May 8): Shopping center operators and retailers across Malaysia today called on the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to immediately suspend ads for derivative information from the Hotspot Identification by Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system on claims that HIDE’s Covid -19 Hotspot list data is inaccurate.

The Malaysian Shopping Mall Association, the Malaysian Retailers Association and the Malaysian Retail Chains Association today urged MOSTI to immediately suspend the HIDE news announcement in a joint statement. until the information to be published is accompanied by a clear, exact and precise basis.

“Merely listing locals in isolation with supporting information is without merit and is not helpful in curbing the spread of the disease.

“There has to be weighting in the list based on population, density, ratio of infections as a percentage of total visits, etc.,” they said.

It has been reported that the HIDE system developed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Ministry of Health aims to give an early warning to avoid spikes in the number of Covid-19 infections using data from the MySejahtera app.

The statement by the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association and Malaysia Retail Chain Association is in response to today’s news reports, citing Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, as the premises listed in the HIDE system as potential Covid-19 risk locations will be closed for three days with immediate effect.

It was reported that the government had previously produced the first HIDE list of business premises identified as Covid-19 hotspots with potential risk of the pandemic spreading.

According to the joint statement, because the HIDE data uses information from the MySejahtera system, places where customers are more inclined to use manual check-in are automatically ignored, further skewing the accuracy of the HIDE information on hotspots.

So, places without MySejahtera-based registrations are riskier locations and potential Covid-19 hotspots, the statement said.

“It would be a total irony and great peril if HIDE is unable to identify these places, simply due to the lack of such data. Ironically, this will inadvertently direct and encourage the public to frequent such poorly regulated places with the mistaken belief. that these places are actually much safer, ”the statement said.

The safety of shoppers is a top priority in shopping malls, the statement said, and with all required standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, including reinforced and regular disinfection measures, malls are a safe place to visit.

The statement claimed that HIDE’s assessment is blatantly unfair to malls and retailers who have invested so much in security and control and have adhered to Covid-19-based SOPs as determined by authorities.

“Serious and diligent compliance with SOPs in shopping centers unfortunately seems to have had the opposite effect and inadvertently punished shopping centers.

“We understand that the nation [Covid-19] The infection rate is 1.3% and according to our own statistics, the infection rate of shopping centers is significantly lower than the national average, ”the statement said.

Citing data from the Ministry of Health, the statement said that data from the ministry shows that factories, communities and construction sites are the top three places where the incidence of Covid-19 is detected at 48.06%, 12.5% ​​and 11.56% respectively.

As ministry data shows shopping areas only 4.78%, the statement says clarification needs to be provided precisely on the incidence of Covid-19 infections in shopping malls and areas.

“It is obvious that the HIDE information is incomplete and distorted and paints a completely different picture from the real situation.

“The information is incomplete as only premises and operations that diligently comply with the SOPs and MySejahtera registration are extracted from the data.

“These sectors that do not comply and blatantly flout SOPs are not assessed for lack of data and therefore do not appear as a hotspot, although it is,” the statement said.

At the time of writing, MOSTI has not issued a statement in response to the allegations of the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, the Malaysia Retailers Association and the Malaysia Retail Chain Association.


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Peggy P. Gilmore