Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for Covid-19 warriors, who are in the forefront of the fight against the deadly virus. The medical insurance cover is a part of the Rs 1.75 lakh crore package announced by the Finance Minister. The insurance cover is meant for doctors, nurses, paramedics and Asha workers dealing with coronavirus outbreak across the country and is likely to benefit 20 lakh medical staff.
Addressing the media, the finance minister applauded the role played by doctors and other healthcare workers and pointed out that they are being called 'gods in white attire' by the public and coronavirus- affected patients alike.
Frontline workers face the greatest at risk of contracting the disease. Many doctors have contracted the deadly virus across the world, and in Delhi, a Mohalla clinic doctor has tested positive this morning. They also face the daily psychological burden of spending hours in hospitals separated from their loved ones and fear of carrying the virus into their homes.
The measures are a major relief for the health workers who put their lives at stake for treating coronavirus-afflicted patients. The medical cover will at least take care of their hospitalization and treatment expenses.
All the healthcare worker categories are self-explanatory, with the exception of Asha workers. Asha workers are community health workers instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a part of the National Rural Health Mission.
The number of deaths around the world from novel coronavirus is stated to have crossed 19,000. The total number of Covid-19 cases in India stand at 650 levels, with at least 13 dead, including the latest reported deaths in Gujarat and in Jammu and Kashmir. Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of cases, at 115.
The announcement comes on the second day of the nationwide lockdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The prime minister has repeatedly urged people to stay at home and maintaining social distancing in the fight against coronavirus.