PUTRAJAYA: The government will channel RM500mil to the Health Ministry to support its efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Prime Minister said on top of this, another RM100mil would be allocated to enable the ministry to employ 2,000 contract staff, especially nurses.
"We are aware that hospital staff and nurses are experiencing burnout and exhaustion as they work tirelessly, day and night, to carry out Covid-19 tests and look after those who are already confirmed positive.
"I hope the hiring of new contract staff can be done as soon as possible," he said after chairing the Economic Action Council meeting on Monday (March 23).
As for the RM500mil, Muhyiddin said it would be used to purchase medical items such as ventilators, equipment for the intensive care unit, additional personal protection gear and laboratory necessities to carry out tests for Covid-19.
He said to expedite the purchase of the goods, the government has approved the procurement as "emergency".
The Prime Minister also announced other initiatives such as allowing withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund for contributors, aged 55 and below, for a sum of RM500 a month for a maximum of 12 months from Account 2.
Applications can be made from April 1 and is expected to benefit 12 million contributors.
The government will also channel allocations, totalling RM130mil, to states to help them manage the Covid-19 crisis.
"The allocation will be given equally to each state.
"The crisis we are facing today is affecting everyone, regardless of race, religion and political affiliations.
"That is why I am of the opinion that all parties should come together to overcome this crisis.
"Protecting the safety, health and lives of the people is the responsibility of all, ” he said.
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