RM600M for MOH to tackle COVID-19 in Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian government will channel additional allocations totalling RM600 million to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to support the ministry’s efforts to tackle COVID-19, including the recruitment of new staff on a contract basis, especially nurses.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said of the total, RM500 million will be used to purchase medical equipment, such as ventilators, essential intensive care unit (ICU) equipment, extra personal protection equipment (PPE) for general medical staff and laboratory equipment for screening of COVID-19.

“The government has also approved an emergency procurement procedure to expedite the purchase of this critical equipment,” he told a press conference yesterday, which was broadcast live on national televisions and radios, as well as social media.

Muhyiddin said the remaining RM100 million is for the MOH to appoint 2,000 new staff on a contract basis, especially nurses.

“Many nurses and hospital staff are already exhausted as they have to work day and night to conduct COVID-19 tests and screening, and at the same time helping those who were tested positive.

“I hope the recruitment of these new staff can be done immediately so that all hospitals in the country will have the adequate number of manpower to curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said. The COVID-19 pandemic originated in China in late December last year before it spread to the whole world and Malaysia reported its first case on January 25 this year. As of noon yesterday, Malaysia reported over 1,300 positive COVID-19 cases, with 11 deaths due to the disease.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia. PHOTO: AP