Current Affairs
Government helps residences for the elderly because of additional expenses incurred by Coronavirus

After additional expenses incurred by 40 residence homes as a result of the pandemic, the Government has felt these homes should be helped even more than they have themselves requested in order to protect the elderly from the pandemic. The Government has allocated €2 million to distribute this additional financial support.

To protect the 300 residents from the virus spread, the four Church homes spent a daily additional €3,000 over a period of five weeks. The Director of the Church homes, Andre Vassallo Grant, said the additional expenses were to mainly cover lockdown. He said staff 150 persons of different nationalities were involved in lockdown. Transport was organised daily at 7 am and 7 pm to cover shifts. Single and double rooms were made available as sleeping quarters and food was also provided. Staff were from The Philippines, India, Brazil, Hungary and Italy as well as Maltese personnel. Five weeks were spent living together and included himself together with the management of the homes.

The four Church homes are part of the 40 homes that are to benefit from the Government’s regeneration package to help cover additional expenses.

The Minister for The Family and Social Solidarity, Michael Falzon, said the Government appreciated these had entered into additional expenses and had therefore offered a more compensatory system for those who had spent more. Homes that implemented the lockdown of staff were 22 and between them these were given €1.6 million while the 18 other residences were given €400,000 to cover the high levels of hygiene that had been implemented.

Minister Falzon said this work on behalf of the elderly is being recognised and compensated to cover Government, Church and Private residence homes with a total of 5,600 elderly residents and it is therefore a duty to provide them with the best possible.

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis said that when social partners work together, the results are so positive that Malta is one of the few countries where homes did not have fatalities.

Permanent Secretary Mark Musu said that in the 22 residences that had operated a lockdown there were 3,053 residents while 1,434 were in 18 other residences and there were 1,100 elderly residents living at San Vincenz.

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