Contingency spending estimate for new Covid-19 cases yet to be determined, says deputy health minister

Soo Wern Jun
·1-min read
Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam October 4, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam October 4, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — An estimation on contingency spending for an unexpected spike in new Covid-19 cases has yet to be determined by the Health Ministry.

Deputy Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said the ministry has already used up the previous allocation.

“The estimation for contingency spending we don’t have yet, but as it is, the allocation given, RM1 billion (we have) exceeded.

“We have already spent approximately RM1.2 billion,” Aaron told the Dewan Rakyat today during Question Time.

The deputy minister, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s Kanowit MP, was responding to PAS’ Dungun MP Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli who asked if the Health Ministry has an estimation for contingency spending should there be an exponential spike in new Covid-19 cases.

Last month, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said his ministry has spent RM1.075 billion from a special Covid-19 allocation as well as its own existing allocations, as of October 10, to manage the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to Dr Adham, the amount was spent on purchasing equipment, medical supplies, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE), reagents and test kits, as well as other services related to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, the government announced an additional RM1 billion allocation for the Health Ministry as part of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package.

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