KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The Covid-19 allowance was restricted to certain health care workers at Kajang Hospital after the Kajang sub-district reported zero new infections since June, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The Selangor state health department, which is under the federal MOH, was responding to an anonymous complaint by Kajang Hospital medical frontliners, published on CodeBlue, who questioned why they stopped receiving their RM600 monthly special Covid-19 allowance since July.
“However, since June 2020, the country recorded a decline in new Covid-19 cases and according to the Covid-19 moving chart by the Selangor state health department, the Hulu Langat district (Kajang mukim) was in the green zone,” Selangor state health director Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman said in a statement yesterday. Green denotes zero new local Covid-19 cases reported in the past fortnight.
The Kajang sub-district, however, is now red with 119 coronavirus cases reported in the past fortnight as of yesterday, marking it the mukim with the fourth-highest number of active infections in Selangor.
Dr Sha’ari explained yesterday that Kajang Hospital, a designated screening hospital, closed its special Covid screening cabin and suspended operations of a special ward for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases at the end of June, since no new positive cases were reported at Kajang Hospital since May.
According to Dr Sha’ari, medical officers and staff who were working in the screening cabin and SARI ward had previously received their Covid-19 allowance when those facilities were set up in Kajang Hospital in March. As a screening hospital, Kajang Hospital provided screening counter services and medical advice, transferring positive cases to Sungai Buloh Hospital for treatment.
“Therefore, from July 2020, only officers who fulfill the criteria, as stated in the April 21, 2020 circular — ‘Penambahbaikan Dalam Pemberian Elaun Khas Kepada Doktor Dan Anggota Kesihatan Yang Terlibat Secara Langsung Dalam Usaha Menangani Dan Membendung Penularan Wabak Covid-19’ — are eligible to be paid this allowance,” said Dr Sha’ari.
He added that officers directly involved in managing the Covid-19 outbreak — like medical officers or health care workers mobilised to red zones, as well as forensic officers — are still paid a Covid-19 allowance until now.
According to MOH’s April 21 circular, the special Covid-19 allowance has been extended to emergency workers, and doctors and health care workers who work in respiratory infection wards, conduct early screenings, or manage deceased patients.
MOH had also scrapped the 15-day work condition for certain government health care workers, allowing them to get the full RM600 monthly Covid-19 allowance regardless of how many days they work according to their schedule.
According to Dr Sha’ari, MOH lists public hospitals involved with Covid-19 work into three categories: Covid-19 full hospital, Covid-19 hybrid hospital, and screening hospital.