COVID-19 expenditure rises above MVR 3 billion

Rapid Response Team (RRT) operates in the streets of Male' City to conduct coronavirus tests. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Records released by Finance Ministry show government expenditure on COVID-19 has risen above MVR 3 billion.

According to the weekly updates on COVID-19 expenditure, the government spent MVR 1.5 billion on health and social sector and MVR 1.54 billion on the economic response by the end of February 25.

Based on the weekly figures, the greatest expenditure in health and social sector was undertaken by Health Ministry. Health Ministry spent MVR 4 million more than any other State institution, the bulk of which was on allowances for employees.

Health Ministry spent MVR 14.7 million on allowances and MVR 11.6 million on travel expenses during the period.

The expenditure under economic response went into disbursement of income support allowance. Total MVR 6.3 million was disbursed as income support allowance during the period.

As of February 25, MVR 24.5 million was disbursed as COVID-19 allowance for Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) employees and MVR 27.4 million for Maldives Police Service employees.

Those working in the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 began receiving frontline allowance for their work starting March 2020. The allowance is disbursed based on three categories; high-risk tasks are paid a daily allowance of MVR 500, while workers who engage in medium-risk tasks receive MVR 250, and workers engaged in low-risk tasks receive MVR 200.