Malaysia launches special fund to help those affected in coronavirus outbreak

A nurse conducts temperature checks at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 3, 2020.
A nurse conducts temperature checks at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 3, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia's new Perikatan Nasional government has launched a special fund to provide financial aid to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would contribute one million ringgit (S$329,000) to the fund for a start, Malaysian state news agency Bernama reported on Wednesday (March 11).

The fund would be used to help Covid-19 patients in Malaysia and those who had been put under a 14-day quarantine but were not holding any jobs.

"The Covid-19 fund is aimed at helping those infected with the virus, especially patients whose work was affected while being quarantined," Tan Sri Muhyiddin was cited by the New Straits Times as saying in a press conference after chairing his first Cabinet meeting.

"Your sincere donation is (much) welcomed. Whatever we collect will be channelled to those deserving assistance."

Ministers at the meeting contributed during the launch of the fund after the press conference.

Separately, Health Minister Adham Baba said during an event in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, that those who did not have a fixed income and were quarantined would receive 100 ringgit a day during the quarantine period, Bernama reported.

The fund is managed by the National Disaster Management Agency.

Malaysia had reported 149 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country as of Thursday morning.