KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 – The federal government has so far spent more than RM300 per capita on Covid-related expenses, including vaccines, medical equipment, and allowances for frontline health workers.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz told Balik Pulau PM Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, in a written parliamentary reply yesterday, that total spending on Covid-19 efforts amounted to RM10.3 billion or 65.2 per cent of RM15.8 billion allocated, as of February 28, 2022.
The amount spent included RM4.6 billion used from the Covid-19 Fund (KWC-19) on various items such as medicine supply, personal protective equipment (PPE), reagents, operation costs for quarantine stations, and special allowances for frontline workers as part of efforts to reduce Covid-19 spread.
Tengku Zafrul said the funds were distributed to ministries, government departments and agencies including hospitals under the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Defence, as well as National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), who were directly involved in Covid-19 control and prevention operations.
Additionally, the government spent RM5.7 billion on Covid-19 vaccines and the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), covering costs involving vaccination centres (PPVs), outsourcing of vaccine administration to the private sector, and special allowances.
The passage of the Temporary Measures for Government Financing Covid-19 (Amendment) Act 2021 in October last year had effectively raised the ceiling limit for the Covid-19 Fund to RM110 billion from RM65 billion.
Of the total amount, RM9 billion is allocated for Covid-specific expenses. The rest was used for federal aid and stimulus packages.
For PICK and vaccine-related expenses, RM6.8 billion had been allocated via the Covid-19 Fund and the National Trust Fund (KWAN), bringing the overall amount designated for Covid expenses to RM15.8 billion.