PM announces financial assistance amid pandemic outbreak

This handout photo from Malaysia's Ministry of Health taken and released on February 26, 2020 shows health workers wearing protective suits as the second batch of Malaysian nationals, evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak, arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. (Photo by Muzzafar Kasim / Malaysia's Ministry of Health / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /Malaysia's Ministry of Health/Muzzafar Kasim" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

In a live press conference, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin has announced initiatives involving financial assistance to aid businesses and Malaysians to cope with amid the outbreak.

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members below the age of 55 will now be able to withdraw RM 500 per month starting April 1 for the next 12 months. RM 40 billion has been allocated in order to aid EPF members throughout this period.

The initiatives part of the economic stimulus package will also include a RM 500 million allocation for the purchase of further medical aid including ventilators. Another RM 100,000 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to increase medical staff hiring up to 2,000 as well.

Additionally, RM 130 million have been allocated to aid each state in order to help SMEs that are facing difficulties to stay afloat amid the outbreak.

The Prime Minister has also stated that further initiatives are currently being studied and will be unveiled in time.

The death toll caused by the Covid-19 has increased to 11, with the latest victim being a 70-year-old religious leader.

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