Malaysia’s government will increase COVID-19 healthcare spending by another 200 million ringgit ($48.3 million) to help tackle a surge in cases during recent weeks, the state news agency reported on Saturday, May 22.
The funding boost brings the government’s total healthcare allocations to fight the coronavirus to 1 billion ringgit, along with a further 5 billion ringgit earmarked last month for the purchase and roll out of vaccines, the Bernama agency reported. (READ: Malaysia reports first case of Indian COVID-19 variant)
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the additional resources would be used to increase the capacity of intensive care units and provide more beds.
“Provisions will also be increased to upgrade equipment, medicines and related consumables and the appointment of medical officers on contract basis, including retirees,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Earlier on Saturday, health authorities reported 6,320 new coronavirus cases, bringing the nation’s total to 505,115. Another 50 deaths were recorded.
The Southeast Asian nation, which has a population of 32 million, reported a daily record of 6,806 new cases on Thursday, when it also saw its highest daily toll of 59 deaths.
Stricter restrictions on movement will take effect from Tuesday, limiting operating hours for most businesses and requiring more people to work from home, the country’s defense minister announced.
Malaysia imposed a nationwide lockdown last week ahead of festivities, banning inter-state and inter-district travel as well as social gatherings. – Rappler.com