CORONAVIRUS Disease 2019 or Covid-19 has caused a financial impact on families throughout the world including Malaysians who are forced to stay inside their homes, unable to work or are on the brink of losing their precious jobs.
This health pandemic which has its root in Wuhan, China has not only exacted a devastating toll on the global economy, but it also disrupts the household incomes, leaving families in dire straits as they struggle to put foods on the table.
Central banks across the globe scrambled to reduce the Overnight Policy Rates (OPR), slashing it to record lows in a bid to resuscitate their economy and cushion them from any hard landing caused by the highly-infectious coronavirus.
However trying or challenging the circumstances are, Malaysians needs to stay united and hold their heads high in facing this global pandemic.
As of yesterday, the country recorded 26 death due to Covid-19 while the total number of people infected with the virus stood at 2,161 with 259 have fully recovered and discharged.
In line with the Health Ministry’s target of conducting 16,000 Covid-19 tests per-day starting April 1, insurance associations together with the government has come up with an RM8 mi assistance under the RM250 bil “Prihatin Rakyat” stimulus package announced yesterday.
Now, everyone with an insurance policy can undertake Covid-19 tests.
Details of the effort are expected to be finalised by next week.
South Korea which had grappled with the disease had chosen the mass-testing path to stamp out the scourge of the coronavirus and the results have been encouraging, with the number of infections in the East Asian country showed a rapid decline.
With financial assistance, hopefully, the number of Malaysians undertaking the Covid-19 test would be higher.
The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia, General Insurance Association of Malaysia and the Malaysian Takaful Association in a statement said the contribution to establish the special fund is intended for medical insurance policyholders and medical takaful certificate holders.
The push had also opened the doors for wider utilisation of private labs in the fight against the virus, adding to the current 23 government and 5 private laboratories conducting the testing.
In light of recent economic disruption, life insurance policies and family takaful certificates premium payments could also be deferred.
According to the Health Ministry's data, Malaysia’s Covid-19 test per million capita of 482 is higher compared to other ASEAN countries and several European Union countries.
In the stimulus package, the government had also provided financial assistance to every segment of the population to ensure that mouths are fed during this challenging times, economic disruption is minimised and food supply are adequate among the rakyat.
With the initiative taken by the government as well as the relevant stakeholders, let’s do our part as responsible Malaysians.
No more excuses, don’t be afraid to get tested and never lie to our healthcare professionals about your travel history.
Let’s flatten the curve of infections together, assist our doctors, nurses and other frontliners which have given us their utmost best even though they are putting their life on the line for us and pray that all will end soon. - March 28, 2020, Bernama