COVID-19 expenditure rises to MVR 3.3 billion

Rapid Response Team (RRT) operates in the streets of Male' City to conduct COVID-19 tests on May 28, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Records released by Finance Ministry show government expenditure on COVID-19 has risen to MVR 3.3 billion.

According to the weekly updates on COVID-19 expenditure, the government spent MVR 1.6 billion on health and social sector by the end of May 6.

Based on the weekly figures, the greatest expenditure in health and social sector was by Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). IGMH spent MVR 1.8 million more than any other State institution, the bulk of which was on operational services related to COVID-19 efforts.

The weekly updates on COVID-19 expenditure shows the government spent MVR 1.7 billion on the economic response by the end of May 6.

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. MVR 1.6 million worth of disbursements were made to National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) to provide income support allowance. No further disbursements were made towards any other economic response scheme.

Looking at individual institutions, the greatest expenditure overall, after National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), was through Health Ministry. Health Ministry spent MVR 469 million, MVR 274 million of which was travel expenses, MVR 33.9 million of which was on providing allowances to employees, and MVR 80.5 million of which was on procuring capital equipment.

MVR 67.6 million was spent by Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), MVR 48.5 million of which was on providing allowances.

Meanwhile, Maldives Police Service spent MVR 31.1 million, MVR 27.4 million of which was on allowances.

As Maldives faces its worst COVID-19 surge to date, authorities are working on increasing the capacity of the health sector to treat patients. This is expected to result in an increase in expenditure in the days to come.