The Ministry of Finance, on Thursday, distributed MVR 44.4 million as allowances to workers of Maldives Police Service and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) serving on the frontline of Maldives' COVID-19 response.
According to the finance ministry, 3,148 police officers received MVR 20.5 million while 3,334 military personnel received MVR 24 million.
With this disbursement, the amount paid to frontline workers as their COVID-19 allowance totals up to MVR 78 million.
Frontliners, excluding those in the armed and security forces, had begun collecting their allowances during the past few months. Ministry of Finance stated that disbursing the funds for MNDF and police personnel were delayed due to policy amendments.
As per the ministry, 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 category, 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 currently records total 9,494 confirmed and 1,428 active COVID-19 cases, along with 8,033 recoveries and 33 deaths.
After recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, COVID-19 cases in Maldives skyrocketed again after the state commenced the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. As per authorities, the spike indicates a high level of community spread in the country.
Health Protection Agency introduced stricter preventive measures in order to curb the surge of virus. Authorities speculate that the effects of these measures will be reflected in the numbers by the end of the month.