The Edition


State expenditure on COVID-19 response reaches MVR 976 mln

Mariyam Malsa
04 July 2020, MVT 09:50
Health professionals collecting random samples on the roads of capital Male', following the easing of lockdown measures for the 'new normal'. PHOTO: NIISHAN ALI
Mariyam Malsa
04 July 2020, MVT 09:50

The Ministry of Finance revealed that the state's total expenditure on COVID-19 response had reached MVR 976 million.

According to weekly statistics published by the ministry, 60 percent or MVR 641 million from the aforementioned sum was funnelled to the Disaster Trust Fund while the Ministry of Health spent MVR 148 million.

Funding for COVID-19 medical treatment accounted for MVR 466 million while acquiring necessary equipment cost MVR 180 million.

Furthermore, the government utilised MVR 114 million for social protection efforts and MVR 4.2 million for repatriation efforts headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the finance ministry, the highest proportion of funds were used to finance testing efforts and acquire personal protective equipment (PPE). The establishment and subsequent maintenance cost of isolation facilities and treatment centres also accounted for a considerable amount of spending.

In order to offset the high proportion of expenditure on public health, the government has implemented several cost-cutting measures including temporary halts in infrastructure projects to reduce state spending.

Additionally, the government initiated efforts to secure financial assistance from international organisations and other countries to bolster COVID-19 response efforts. Till date, Maldives has acquired MVR 1.4 billion in foreign aid.

Government estimates show that COVID-19 related health expenditure is projected to rise to MVR 3.3 billion.

Maldives presently a total of 416 are active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 1,969 recoveries and 10 deaths.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

However, the number of recoveries have continued to rise, with over 82 percent of patients now recovered.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 11 million people and claimed over 524,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 6.1 million people have recovered.