Good morning, here's a quick rundown of what happened over the weekend.
- AstraZeneca shot: Aye or nay?
- MCO 3.0?
- Disturbance in the force
AstraZeneca shot: Aye or nay?
The first batch of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, offered on a voluntary basis, was snapped up in less than four hours.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has a rare risk of blood clots but those who are willing to bear that risk get fast-tracked vaccination. The first dose will be administered on Wednesday.
More doses will be arriving and the offer will be expanded to more states. Should you get it? Malaysiakini prepared an extensive guide to help you weigh the risks. Read our KINIGUIDE.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported the first case (imported) of the B.1.617 variant in Malaysia - which has sent Covid-19 cases in India spiralling.
It also reported that other dangerous imported variants are spreading locally, including B1.351 from South Africa, which it warned could replace the local variant.
The B1.351 variant can render the AstraZeneca vaccine ineffective.
|What you should know when signing up for AstraZeneca|
Our KiniGuide sets out the facts.
|Who gets Covid-19 and who will likely die from it?|
Seniors disproportionately at risk.
|'We'll lose if we engage PN solely on race and religion'|
Guan Eng says struggle should be based on principles.
The possibility of a third lockdown is on the cards, with the National Security Council set to meet today.
The Health Ministry had submitted a proposal for a return to full MCO in several states.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin hinted that some form of tightening was in the works, hours after an opposition MP asked Putrajaya not to surprise the public with a "last-minute" MCO 3.0.
Ahead of the MCO review, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah highlighted stretched conditions at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, where ICU patients are now being placed in the general ward.
The current situation is reminiscent of Putrajaya’s premature lifting of the inter-district and interstate travel restriction last December.
It sent the country back into a full MCO within a month, despite Muhyiddin saying MCO 2.0 will lead to economic collapse.
Putrajaya again lifted the inter-district travel restriction in March but retained the interstate travel ban. Muhyiddin also said there won’t be an MCO 3.0.
Fast forward today, our Covid-19 hospitals are on the brink, again.
|Top cop slams ‘unintelligent ministers’|
He slammed them for wanting more lax roadblocks.
|'Indifference towards Covid-19 burdens healthcare system'|
Johor ruler worried about spiralling cases.
|Covid-19: Two Ramadan bazaars ordered to close|
Traders tested positive for the disease.
Disturbance in the force
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin made the startling admission that he was the person in an audio recording which discussed appointing “our boys” to key positions in the police force.
He maintained there was no wrongdoing. The wrongdoing, he claimed, was with whoever who recorded the audio recording.
Outgoing Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador denied any role in the leaked audio recording.
However, he opened fire on Hamzah in his swan song press conference for interfering in the police force.
Hamid’s deputy Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani will take over as the new inspector-general of police tomorrow (May 4).
On the same day Acryl was revealed as the new top cop, he announced an investigation into an AstroAwani news presenter for calling authorities foolish (otak di lutut) after they issued exorbitant fines against petty traders for Covid-19 SOP violations.
The TV news channel said it will cooperate.
|Interference: Kit Siang sees parallels with Lingam tapes|
He says at least the previous PM agreed to RCI.
|RM10k reward for info on Ganapathy's death|
His mother claimed he was beaten while in police custody.
|IGP explains why he only spoke out now|
Hamid said he was focusing on internal issues.
A daily glance at Covid-19
- 3,418 new cases and 12 deaths yesterday (May 2).
- Active cases breached 30,000, the highest level since Feb 24. We're now days away from hitting the national Covid-19 bed capacity (34,126). Some hospitals have already run out of beds due to uneven distribution.
- The number of Covid-19 patients in the ICU is at an all-time high (345), suggesting that the number of deaths could also break records in the next weeks. We have been seeing double-digit deaths for nine consecutive days.
- For trends on daily cases, tests, hospital beds capacity, vaccination progress and more, follow our Covid-19 tracker.
What else is happening?
- De facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan said he can't give a timeline on when the new voting age of 18 can be implemented but gave a commitment that it will be done within this year.
- Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong managed to fend off an attempt to oust him with his team comfortably winning the state party election. He also received a last-minute endorsement from party veteran Lim Kit Siang.
- A group of NGOs called for a national "school walkout day" to protest sexual harassment against girls in schools. It was partly inspired by a 17-year-old who exposed her teacher for allegedly making a rape joke. Her father is supportive of the cause but disagreed with students getting involved in a walkout.
- Families of 10 prison inmates filed police reports claiming their incarcerated relatives were abused at the Jelebu Prison, with their genitals and anuses pepper-sprayed.
- Songstress Siti Nurhaliza faced criticism for a ceremony she held to celebrate her newborn child, which was allegedly graced by out-of-state guests. Interstate travel is banned at present to curb the spread of Covid-19.
|Cops to question ‘Buka Puasa Buka Parlimen' protesters|
Police say they didn't provide notice.
|Dancing a fine line to keep Mak Yong alive|
Malaysianskini features Rosnan's quest to preserve the art.
|Ezam and allies want to take on Dr M, Azmin|
They plan to contest in Selangor and Kedah.
What are people saying?
|Ain, I salute you|
By Sitpah Selvaratnam
|Malaysian youth in peril|
By Calvin Cheng & Bridget Welsh
|Reform police custody practices now|
By AG Kalidas