Coronavirus lockdown: Sitharaman announces Rs 50 lakh insurance each for frontline healthcare workers

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (right) with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur

Coronavirus outbreak: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (right) and Minister of State for Finance (left) Anurag Thakur addressing a press conference. (Express photo by Amit Mehra/File)

In a bid to cushion the blows of the coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for frontline healthcare workers dealing with the menace of COVID-19.

Expressing her gratitude towards the frontline healthcare workers—ASHA workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics among others, Sitharaman said, "there will be Rs 50 lakh medical insurance cover each for healthcare worker for a period of three months. Hopefully, we would be able to contain the virus in this period." Click here to read more about FM's economic stimulus package 

The insurance scheme will cover safai karamcharis (sanitation workers), war-boys, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers dealing with the pandemic. The scheme entails that if any health professional while treating COVID-19 patients meets with some accident, he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh.

The scheme, which will be provided for approximately 22 lakh health workers, is for those who work under government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States.

Aside from this, Sitharaman announced 1.75 lakh crore package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan to help the poor, migrant workers, senior citizens, those in organised sector and self-help groups. "No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore," she said.

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Doctors come out of an isolation ward after attending to people who returned from China and under observation at the Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad. (AP/File)

India has been placed under a 21-day lockdown with an aim to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus. As per the latest bulleting from the Health Ministry, nearly 650 people have tested positive for the virus, including 42 who have recovered and 13 deaths.

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