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Govt distributes MVR 10.4 million as frontline allowance

Mariyam Malsa
10 August 2020, MVT 11:24
A health worker from HPA bags a random sample collected for COVID-19 testing. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
10 August 2020, MVT 11:24

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer, on Sunday, revealed that MVR 10.4 million was distributed as allowances to 825 workers serving on the frontline of Maldives' COVID-19 response.

The minister stated that the payment brings the total amount to MVR 13.4 million disbursed among 1,045 workers for services rendered from March to June.

He added that the finance ministry would issue the pending allowances for more frontline workers as soon as their 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.

Maldives now records total 5,041 confirmed and 2,218 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,804 recoveries and 19 deaths.

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

The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed 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.

In addition to the Greater Male' region, active virus cases are also present in Kelaa, Ihavandhoo and Filladhoo of Haa Alif Atoll, Naivaadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Hulhudhuffaaru and Inguraidhoo in Raa Atoll, Kudarikilu and Kamadhoo in Baa Atoll, Hinnavaru of Lhaviyani Atoll, Maafushi of Kaafu Atoll, Fulidhoo of Vaavu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City, and Hithadhoo of Addu City.

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 20 million people and claimed over 734,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 12.9 million people have recovered.

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