The Ministry of Finance, on Monday, revealed that over MVR 90 million was distributed as allowances to workers serving on the frontline of Maldives' COVID-19 response.
According to local media outlet Mihaaru, a total of 11,349 individuals were registered as frontline workers as of January 4. An overall figure of MVR 90, 318,919.47 was disbursed to 10,180 of these individuals.
The highest sum paid out to a single individual as frontline allowance was recorded at MVR 39,500, while the lowest payment was made to two employees of the Ministry of Higher Education that collectively received MVR 600.
As per the statistics provided by the finance ministry, 3211 frontline workers from the Maldives Police Service were allotted MVR 27,436,300, making it the state institution which received the highest payment. This is followed by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) which was granted MVR 23,434,419.47 to cover the allowances designated for 3,199 frontline workers.
The MVR 18,305,100 paid out to 1,715 frontliners from Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) represented the third highest frontline allowance disbursed to an institution. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) received MVR 7,191,900, with 648 employees being paid.
Frontline workers, divided into three categories based on specific risk levels, are granted allowances for services rendered from March 7, 2020, onwards
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.
The third category includes low risk frontline workers that receive MVR 200 for every working day.
At present, Maldives records a total of 14,159 virus cases of which 738 are active cases, in addition to 13,365 recoveries and 49 deaths.
On March 12, 2020, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 90.8 million people and claimed over 1.9 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 64.9 million people have recovered.