KINI ROUNDUP | Here are key headlines you may have missed, in brief.
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1. Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said it could take 12 weeks to “flatten the curve” of new Covid-19 cases, but that could change after two weeks of the movement control order and reduce the daily cases to 1,000 per day after four weeks.
2. Amid questions regarding the efficacy of SinoVac’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee co-chairperson Khairy Jamaluddin gave his assurance that Malaysia would not follow through with purchasing CoronaVac if it fails to meet the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s standards of efficacy and safety.
3. Hardware stores, vehicle workshops, jewellery stores and electric and electronics stores are among the businesses that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry said are allowed to operate under the second movement control order.
4. Several civil society groups voiced concern that the proclamation of the emergency could infringe on freedom of expression, rule of law and other civil liberties. However, Deputy Foreign Minister Kamarudin Jaffar said declaring an emergency is within democratic norms.
5. The Health Ministry is turning to private healthcare providers for additional human resources, as the number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care continues to trend upwards to a record-high of 197 cases.
6. Deputy Health Minister I Noor Azmi Ghazali posted photos of him receiving visitors at his Putrajaya office and later removed them, but this office clarified that the visit was made a day before MCO restrictions would ban such a meeting.
7. Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said the government’s hardline stance against migrant workers is partly to blame for the current surge in Covid-19 cases.
8. Multimedia and Communications Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has ordered an investigation amid allegations that the Communications and Multimedia Commission had bought over a Twitter account to use as its official Twitter handle, but failed to remove old posts that contained lewd language.
9. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has expressed the state’s readiness to face the Kedah government in court amid the ongoing dispute between the two states over raw water supplies from Sungai Muda.
10. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin has tested positive for Covid-19, after three other ministers also tested positive this month. He was reportedly in a stable condition.