The Edition


State pledges to pay COVID-19 risk allowance for frontliners by Aug

Shahudha Mohamed
15 July 2020, MVT 15:19
Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC)'s Spokesperson and HPA's Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq speaking at a press briefing. She assured frontliners will receiver their risk allowance with the salaries for the month of July. PHOTO: HEOC
Shahudha Mohamed
15 July 2020, MVT 15:19

Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Tuesday night revealed that the risk allowance set by the government, for the frontline workers of Maldives' COVID-19 response, will receive their allowance along with their salary for July, at the end of the month.

Addressing the press at the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC)'s briefing, spokesperson and HPA medical officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq stated that frontline workers will receive the risk allowance when the respective ministry, at which they are employed, submits the workers' individual details on their behalf to the allotted portal.

"We have requested previously as well, for the ministries to enter the details of their employees via the portal", she said.

On May 7, Minister of Finance Ahmed Ameer disclosed President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's decision to grant an allowance after categorising frontliners, based on specific risk levels.

According to the minister, frontline workers are divided into three categories. The first category is those subjected to the highest risk, such as individuals who come into direct contact with COVID-19 patients, including doctors, nurses, sample collectors, laboratory technicians, those who operate the vehicles in which positive and suspected individuals are transferred and those who enter COVID-19 treatment facilities.

Those in the first category will receive an allowance of MVR 500 for every working day.

Medium risk frontliners fall into the second catergory, including those who have to work with high-risk individuals although they do not come into contact with COVID-19 patients. Those in this category will receive a daily allowance of MVR 250 for every working day.

Frontliners that do not fit into either of the aforementioned categories but work in NEOC for more than six hours each day will receive an allowance of MVR 200.

Maldives presently has a total of 2,801 confirmed and 470 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 2,302 recoveries and 14 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.

After recording low numbers for several weeks, the recent spike of virus cases has reduced the total amount of recovered patients from 86 to 82 percent.

The number of COVID-19 cases increased after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. Government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants restarted services on July 1 while authorities are prepared to reopen Maldives' borders for tourism on July 15.

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 13.4 million people and claimed over 581,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 7.87 million people have recovered.