Good morning, here’s what you need to know today.
- Instagram and the Queen
- Racialising welfare
- Education Covid-19 clusters
Instagram and the Queen
#DengkiKe became a trending hashtag on Twitter last night. It was in reference to Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah’s comment on Instagram.
The Queen shared that she had spent the afternoon in the kitchen with the palace cooks, to which a netizen asked if they were vaccinated too.
This was amid a report alleging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been gifted the unapproved Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for use by royal circles, a claim Health Minister Dr Adham Baba dismissed.
The Queen’s response was: “Dengki Ke?” (Are you spiteful?). The comment went viral and she deactivated her Instagram account.
Meanwhile, Phase 2 (for the elderly and ill) of the Covid-19 immunisation programme kicked off yesterday. As of last Sunday, about two percent of the population have received at least the first dose.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim gained much social media attention for his welfare work with those facing hardship.
But this took a racial and religious turn after a senior lecturer with Universiti Utara Malaysia, Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, highlighted his work and cautioned Muslims about accepting help from “Christian evangelists”. Sim expressed sadness.
Kamarul said he wasn’t questioning Sim’s work but was uncomfortable with the publicity.
Kamarul previously also targeted other DAP leaders for their faith. In 2017, he lodged a police report against Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh for talking about her religion in her biography.
Education Covid-19 clusters
If you follow the Health Ministry’s daily statement on Covid-19 closely, you’d realised that since April 16, it created a new category for Covid-19 clusters called “Education”.
It reflected the Health Ministry’s concern about the growing number of Covid-19 clusters involving education institutions. Previously, they would be categorised as “Workplace”.
Yesterday, almost half (six out of 14) of the new Covid-19 clusters involved education institutions. Since last Tuesday, 13 such new clusters were reported.
The Petaling District Health Department ordered 19 schools to close after detecting 27 Covid-19 cases there.
In Sarawak, the state government ordered all childcare centres and schools in Covid-19 red zones to close for 14 days.
A daily glance at Covid-19
- 2,078 new cases yesterday (April 19), the fifth consecutive day where cases were above 2,000.
- Active cases broke 20,000 for the first time since March 7. It rose from 15,059 to 20,552 in just 10 days, compared to the 23 days prior where cases remained in the 14,000 range.
- The number of patients in the intensive care unit was at 228, the highest since Feb 17, suggesting that deaths may start to increase in the coming weeks.
- For trends on daily cases, tests, hospital beds capacity, vaccination progress and more, follow our Covid-19 tracker.
What else is happening?
- Beds at hospitals and quarantine centres for Covid-19 patients in Kelantan are nearly full following a week-long spike in the state.
- Former minister Rafidah Aziz urged the Putrajaya to preserve the historically significant SMK Convent Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur amid the school’s legal battle to renew its lease after the government refused to do so.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin officiated Microsoft Corp plans to set up its first datacentre in Malaysia. He spoke about the country’s potential as a data hub but was silent on the appeal against the cabotage policy by tech giants, including Microsoft.
- Police clarified that only 17 parcel-hailing riders died on the job in 2020 and not in the thousands as reported in some media outlets.
- The government announced that married couples will be allowed to have their Covid-19 vaccination appointments together to facilitate their logistics arrangement.
What are people saying?