By TMR / Pic by BERNAMA
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) spent RM1.31 billion as of the end of November to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said RM1.8 billion was allocated this year for the implementation of the Movement Control Order nationwide and for Covid19-related needs on the public health sector.
The amount spent, as of Nov 30, included RM275 million on a special Covid-19 allowance for MoH’s frontliners, RM262 million for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), reagent and test kits, and RM210 million for outsourcing private lab services for Covid-19 screenings.
“The amount did not include emolument payments made from the ministry’s existing provisions to health officials involved in treating, controlling and mitigating the spread of the virus.
“As stated in Budget 2021, a total of RM17.1 billion will be allocated for the Covid-19 Fund under the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Act 2020,” he said in a recent Dewan Negara written reply.
The reply was made in response to Senator Lim Hui Ying’s questions regarding the actions taken by the government to reduce the spread of the virus and the costs inflicted for the mitigation measures imposed in the country. Mohd Redzuan said a total of RM800 million under the fund is allocated for MoH to prevent the occurrence of a third wave of infections in the country.
The ministry’s expenditure under the allocation includes RM475 million for the purchase of reagent supplies, screening kits and consumables, RM318 million for PPE and hand sanitisers for frontliners, and RM7 million to increase equipment at dental facilities and virtual clinic services.
Meanwhile, an additional RM150 million is allocated for the National Disaster Management Agency and the Prime Minister’s Department to coordinate efforts in combating the virus, while RM50 million is allocated for the procurement of lab testing kits and medicines in university hospitals.
“The government has agreed to increase the scope for tax relief for medical treatments which covers vaccination expenditure like pneumococcal, influenza and Covid-19 to encourage the public to get vaccinated,” added Mohd Redzuan.
The government signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plc yesterday to acquire 6.4 million dosages of a guaranteed Covid-19 vaccine supply for 10% of the population.
This brings the total coverage to 40% including the government’s previous agreements with Covid19 Vaccine Global Access Facility and Pfizer Inc.