KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Putrajaya has increased the special Covid-19 allowance for government doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers handling the coronavirus from RM400 to RM600 monthly.
The special monthly RM600 coronavirus allowance will be in effect from April 1 until the end of the outbreak that has killed 24 Malaysians and infected over 2,000 people in Malaysia.
“I realise that in these challenging times, our health care workers are working hard through fatigue and stressful conditions. However, they are still determined to fight this great battle,” Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address today on the governments’ Prihatin economic stimulus package.
Over 1.5 million civil servants Grade 56 and below, including contract workers, will receive a one-off RM500 cash payment in April. This one-off payment was also extended to over 850,000 retired civil servants.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) workforce includes contract doctors, pharmacists, and dentists from the UD41 grade.
The government is also allocating an additional RM1 billion to MOH for equipment and services to manage the Covid-19 outbreak, including getting medical expert services from the private health care sector.
To support MOH’s efforts in increasing Covid-19 testing, the insurance industry will create a special fund of RM8 million to bear up to RM300 of the cost of tests for each person with medical insurance, who is instructed by health authorities to undergo testing in private hospitals or laboratories.
“Besides that, insurance companies and family takaful will offer a three-monthly postponement for payment of premiums or contributions for the insured whose source of income was disrupted by the outbreak,” Muhyiddin said.
Under mySalam, a government health protection scheme, coronavirus patients from the bottom 40 per cent (B40) community are eligible to claim RM50 daily for a maximum of 14 days when they are hospitalised. This benefit has also been extended to the B40 who are quarantined as patients-under-investigation.
“We are a nation at war with invisible forces,” Muhyiddin said.
“The situation we are now facing is unprecedented in history. And, this government may not be the government that you voted for. But I want all of you to know that this government cares for you.Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister
“I accepted the fact that I came in as Prime Minister, as your Prime Minister, not at the best moment. I face political, economic, and health crises all at the same time.
“And this unprecedented situation, of course, requires unprecedented measures. So, my dear brothers and sisters, and the children of this beloved country, whether you are a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun, Orang Asal, please bear with me and, of course, my friends in the Cabinet and the government.
“We are not perfect, but we are doing the best we can to pull through this crisis together, as one nation. And God willing, we will come out stronger when this crisis ends and the dust settles. Insya-Allah.”
CodeBlue reported recently that permanent and contract government doctors and other health care workers serving the frontlines of the Covid-19 outbreak must make claims for their special coronavirus allowance.
A circular dated March 16 by MOH secretary-general Dr Chen Chaw Min said the special Covid-19 allowance applied to MOH staff — medical officers, specialists, non-doctor staff in the management and professional group, paramedics, and staff in the administration group.
The circular did not list housemen and public university health care workers as eligible beneficiaries of the Covid-19 allowance.
The scope of coronavirus-related work covered by the allowance includes making action plans to tackle the outbreak, detection and screening, contact tracing, infection control, home surveillance of people under quarantine, testing, and admission and treatment.