More than 4,000 students had lost parents or guardians to the Covid-19 pandemic as of Sept 13 with over 100 left orphans through the loss of both father and mother, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun told the Dewan Rakyat today.
She cited figures from the education ministry showing that 4,422 pupils at schools registered with the ministry had lost parents or guardians while 154 were completely orphaned.
“The women, family and community development ministry is very concerned about the welfare of these children who require the appropriate assistance,” she said.
She said the government in announcing the budget for 2021 had agreed to boost the monthly assistant rate for the child assistance scheme as well as aid for homeless patients under the welfare department.
“Children aged seven and below will be given RM200 each while those over the age of seven will receive assistance of RM150 each.
“For the first time, the maximum rate of aid for children has been raised from RM450 per family to RM1,000,” she added.
She said counselling would also be made available to children who are experiencing emotional stress due to the loss of their parents.
Malaysia had recorded 23,443 deaths due to Covid-19 as of Sept 19.
According to the health ministry’s CovidNow website, the seven-day average of actual deaths each day at that point was 110.