Mauritius new budgetary measures ensure sustainability of its national COVID-19 vaccination campaign and encourage local manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines to better fight the pandemic
The Minister of Finance presented the 2021-22 Budget on Friday last after yet another year of unprecedented events. The country announced important budgetary health measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, protect its population while boosting up the economy and growth.
The country is pushing the pharmaceutical industry as fresh pillar of its economy. Indeed, a seed capital of MUR 1 Billion will be injected in the economy to encourage the Mauritius Institute of Biotechnology to produce COVID-19 vaccines and other pharmaceutical products. Attractive fiscal incentives in the form of tax credits and tax exemptions will be thus offered to private companies to construct purpose-built factories for manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.
As the country intensified its national vaccination campaign to reach herd immunity with at least 60% of its adult population being vaccinated by September 2021, multi-sectoral efforts are currently being deployed for the partial re-opening of the country’s borders as from 15 July and full re-opening as from 1 October. New protocols will be implemented to continuously ensure the protection of the population from COVID-19 while keeping a balance with economy growth.
In view of promoting a healthy lifestyle and reduce the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and the high NCD risk factors, the country is further investing in sports infrastructure to promote regular physical activity in the population. To address the excessive consumption of alcohol and reduce tobacco use, the rate of excise duty has been increased by 10 percent on tobacco and alcoholic products.
Mauritius is also investing in the required infrastructure and equipment to protect its health care personnel and better respond to the needs of the population. In this vein, the Government of Mauritius is increasing the public health budget to Rs 14.5 billion. This will enable acquisition of high-tech equipment including a new CT scan and 80 Haemodialysis equipment as well as a Cyberknife Robotic Radiosurgery System that will be installed in the New Cancer Centre for advanced cancer treatment. In terms of health infrastructure, the budget provides for the construction of a new Cancer Centre, a new regional hospital in the East of the island and a new Eye hospital, 6 mediclinics, 5 community health centres, 4 area Health Centres and a modern Cardiac Centre in the centre of the island.
Through these new budget measures, Mauritius aims at Recovery, Revival and Resilience with vaccination as the game changer.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.
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