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Maldives begins to pay risk allowance for frontline workers

Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 July 2020, MVT 20:08
A health professional bags a sample for COVID-19 testing, during HPA's ongoing random sampling operation. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 July 2020, MVT 20:08

The government on Wednesday began to disburse the risk allowance set for the frontline workers of Maldives' COVID-19 response.

The Ministry of Finance announced that total MVR 2.9 million was paid out for 220 individuals so far.

This amount covers the allowance for frontline workers from March 7, when the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Maldives, until the end of June.

The ministry assured that the pending allowance for more frontline workers will be disbursed as soon as their data verification and approval processes are completed.

Finance Minister Ahmed Ameer first announced President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's decision to grant an allowance for frontline workers on May 7 this year.

According to the minister, frontline workers are divided into three categories based on specific risk levels.

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 the now defunct National Emergency Operation Centre for more than six hours each day are to receive an allowance of MVR 200.

The total number of positive cases in Maldives has reached 3,506, with 929 active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,547 recoveries and 15 deaths.

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 16.9 million people and claimed over 664,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 10.5 million people have recovered.

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