Dr M: If SOPs ignored, Malaysia could see over 5,000 Covid-19 cases daily

Discipline is key to breaking the chain of infection as the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia remains high.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged the public to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs), adding the situation now is getting more pressing with the emergence of new variants.

“These new variants are more infectious compared to the previous ones,” said Dr Mahathir via Facebook live earlier today.

“Our daily Covid-19 cases will most probably increase to more than what it is today. It is said that we could see more than 5,000 cases a day.

“We will have a problem if this happens because we won’t have enough hospital beds, as even now, it is overwhelming,” he added.

Twenty-six deaths were recorded in Malaysia yesterday, the highest number of daily Covid-19 fatalities reported. Today, 3,807 new Covid-19 cases were recorded and 17 deaths.

Dr Mahathir said discipline and self-control would be key to fighting this outbreak.

“The authorities can only do so much to protect the people. At the end of the day, it is up to the people to break the chain of infection,” he added.

He highlighted the spike of cases in India and Brazil, adding Malaysia could suffer the same fate if people continued to ignore the SOPs.

“The system couldn’t cope with the overwhelming daily cases to the point that their people started to collapse and die. This is not impossible for Malaysia.

“For this Hari Raya, there’s no need to go for Raya visits. It will probably not be a good thing because the chance for us to get infected is there.

He also encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Here’s the news round-up of The News Normal today.

FRIDAY PRAYERS, TARAWIH, AIDILFITRI PRAYERS ALLOWED IN PENANG’S MCO, CMCO AREAS

The Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department has allowed tarawih and Aidilfitri prayers to be performed in Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) areas.

The department also said all religious activities, including Friday prayers, were allowed in mosques and surau in those areas.

The department said only packed food are allowed to be distributed in mosques or surau.

SOP CONFUSION CONTINUES – KINDIES, NURSERIES NOW ORDERED SHUT

The contradicting and confusing MCO rules continue as kindergartens and daycare centres have now been ordered to close until June 6 by the Education Ministry.

This despite Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob saying in his press briefing that kindergartens, pre-schools and daycare centres were allowed to operate throughout the MCO so that parents could go to work.

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council added to the confusion when it published an “updated SOP” on its Facebook yesterday, saying kindergartens, nurseries and even private sports centres in Ampang are allowed to operate. Ampang is currently observing the MCO.

AZ APPOINTMENTS AT WORLD TRADE CENTRE KL ON MAY 15 AND 16 RESCHEDULED

Those scheduled to get their AstraZeneca Covid-19 shots at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur on May 15 and 16 will be given new dates. This is to prevent overcrowding at the centre, given the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin said the 2,800 appointments will be given new dates – between May 17 and May 23.

Khairy also said Malaysia will receive 875,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca between May 19 and June 1.

NO EXTENSION IN INCOME TAX E-FILING

The Inland Revenue Board said there are no plans to grant an extension on the deadline for online submissions of income tax beyond May 15.

IRB has, as at May 5, received some 2.59 million income tax return forms from individuals with no business income via e-filing. It was an increase of 73 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Taxpayers who fail to file their tax returns on time could face fines of between RM200 and RM20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both, upon conviction.

Meanwhile, those earning from a business income will have until June 30 to file their taxes.

BODY OF SEREMBAN BOY FOUND THIS MORNING

Rescue personnel, had this morning, found the body of an eight-year-old boy who slipped and fell into a drain at Cempaka Avenue Flats, Seremban 2.

Mohammad Syafiq Mustaqim Mohammad Fadly’s body, minus his clothes, was found floating at the Taman Arowana Indah water catchment pond, 1.2km from where he was last seen on Saturday.

The body was taken to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital for a post-mortem.

UPHILL BATTLE FOR GOVT IF IT DECIDES TO EJECT MAHB FROM SUBANG AIRPORT

The government and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will face a lengthy and tedious process if the former intends to allow a new player to manage the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor.

The process includes getting the approval of MAHB’s board of directors and its international investors for the government-linked company to deviate from their operating agreement (OA).

Eyebrows were raised following WCT Holdings Bhd’s proposal in wanting to re-concession Subang airport. WCT Holdings is owned by businessman Tan Sri Desmond Lim.

Meanwhile, MAHB chairman Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir urged the government to reconsider plans to replace MAHB with any private entity in running Subang airport.

Zambry had, in a statement, said: “I am confident after listening to MAHB’s views and the relevant agencies, the government will not sacrifice a strategic asset of the nation.”

CORRUPTION HAS BECOME BIG BUSINESS IN MALAYSIA

Criminologist Datuk P. Sundramoorthy said the current trend of enforcement officers and civil servants being involved in corruption was worrying.

“Corruption is an epidemic in Malaysia, and I disagree with those who claim otherwise. The current trend also suggests it is becoming big business,” he told Twentytwo13.

PETRA GROUP EXPANDS INTO FURNITURE BUSINESS

Petra Group has invested RM45 million into the furniture business through the setting up of Petra Mobilia.

With the new deal, Petra Mobilia holds the license to manufacture and supply furniture under the global Tempur brand. Petra Mobilia will design and manufacture seating products such as recliners, home theatre seating, sofa beds and modular sofa systems under Tempur.

Petra Mobilia also owns the Rize brand that specialises in medically-designed therapeutic lift chairs intended to improve the quality of life of those with mobility issues.

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