KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Government doctors and other medical personnel directly involved in coronavirus containment efforts will receive a special RM400 monthly critical allowance from this month until the end of the outbreak.
Interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad described Covid-19 a “pandemic”, though the World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to declare it as one, even as the novel coronavirus has reportedly spread to various parts of the world from China, where it originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Dr Mahathir also announced an RM200 monthly critical allowance for immigration and related frontline staff involved in Covid-19 containment from February until the end of the outbreak.
“To date, the Ministry of Health has committed RM150 million to purchase the relevant equipment, medicine and consumables in the effort to contain Covid-19 outbreak.
“The government will provide the necessary resources to ensure Covid-19 disease is well managed,” he announced in the government’s 2020 economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Mahathir also thanked doctors, nurses, health workers, immigration and other frontliners for protecting Malaysia from Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has been well contained with most of those infected have recovered fully.”
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said yesterday that the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia remained at 22, 20 of whom have recovered and discharged from hospital. Two remain in stable condition. The last coronavirus case was officially reported last February 15.
Al-Jazeera reported that Covid-19 cases have hit about 82,000 worldwide, killing some 2,800 people. The number of new infections inside China was also reportedly surpassed, for the first time, by fresh cases in other countries yesterday, highlighting Italy, South Korea, and Iran as new coronavirus hotspots.
Australia today effectively announced a coronavirus pandemic and initiated a Covid-19 emergency response plan.