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Expenditure for COVID-19 response nears MVR 3 billion: Finance Min

Shahudha Mohamed
22 January 2021, MVT 14:21
Frontline workers at the Hulhumale' Medical Facility (HMF), established in the capital region where most of Maldives' COVID-19 response is centred. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
22 January 2021, MVT 14:21

Statistics revealed by the Ministry of Finance showed that the expenditure for the COVID-19 response totals up to MVR 2.9 billion as of January 14, 2021.

As per the figures publicised by the ministry, MVR 1.4 billion was spent on the health and social sectors related to the pandemic, including MVR 868 million on the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), MVR 321.1 million on the Ministry of Health, MVR 88.4 million on Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), and MVR 84 million on the Disaster Management Fund.

Numbers publicised by the Finance Ministry indicate that most of the expenditure over the last week was over acquiring supplies needed for the COVID-19 response via the Health Ministry, and to provide income support allowance for individuals in need via the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA).

The remaining MVR 1.5 billion was spent on the economic response. The largest portion of these funds, adding up to MVR 1.15 billon was allocated for the COVID-19 recovery loan scheme, while MVR 227.4 million was disbursed as income support allowance, and MVR 117.7 million was spent on discounts for utility bills.

At present, Maldives records a total of 14,765 virus cases of which 1,025 are active cases, in addition to 13,684 recoveries and 50 deaths.

Virus cases have been on the rise throughout January 2021, with active cases surpassing the 1,000-mark after months of recording three-digit numbers. New clusters were identified on operational resorts as well as several islands in the south.

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 97.5 million people and claimed over 2 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 70 million people have recovered.

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