COVID-19: UP govt to raise honorarium of frontline workers by 25%

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Lucknow, May 3 (PTI) In a bid to encourage and honour the 'tireless and unparalleled' contribution of all frontline staff and healthcare workers of the health department, the Yogi Adityanath government has announced to raise their monthly honorarium by 25 per cent, an official statement said on Monday.

An additional honorarium of 25 per cent along with their basic pay will be given to all the frontline workers, it said.

This includes more than 8,000 pharmacists and nurses, over 12,000 doctors, more than 3,000 lab technicians, more than 1,000 X-ray technicians, 2,000 health workers of NHM and all the doctors, nurses, ward boys and other paramedical staff engaged in COVID care duty, the statement said.

Those serving as volunteers to treat COVID-19 patients will also get an increased 25 per cent honorarium from the prevailing National Health Mission (NHM) rate per day.

'During such challenging and testing times, the frontline and healthcare workers stood like a shield, battling courageously and selflessly to protect and save the people and improve the condition of the state. Their contribution cannot be put into words,' Adityanath said, while praising the efforts of the medical staff.

Emphasising that vaccination is the biggest weapon in the fight against coronavirus, he urged the doctors to encourage more and more patients to get vaccinated.

Highlighting the contribution of frontline and healthcare workers, the chief minister said because of their efforts, the state has been able to conduct the maximum amount of COVID tests, which played an important role in bringing down the transmission levels of the infection, and the state has been improving in terms of recovered patients as the recovery rate has been getting better consistently.

'UP has an excellent experience of COVID-19 management and our policies have even received global acclaim. With the contribution of frontline and healthcare workers, our victory in this battle of COVID-19 is certain. Every citizen of the state has an important role in it. Compliance with the COVID protocol is in everyone's interest. Masks, sanitisation and physical distancing have to be included in our lifestyle,' Adityanath said.

Intensifying measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus and to increase the manpower in the hospitals, the state government has announced to rope in final year medical and paramedical students, the statement said.

It has also announced a special package to encourage their contribution and to equip the state with a trained manforce. The final year students will not only be able to gain experience, but will also be provided many other fruitful opportunities along with encouraging incentives, it said.

The Uttar Pradesh government is going to set up a team of health experts to advice ‘Team 9’ on COVID control in the state. The team consisting of ministers and senior officers has been the core team to address the issues in the wake of COVID-19 crisis and meets daily under the guidance of the chief minister, it said.

The reputed medical resources from SGPGI, KGMU, RML Institute will join the advisory committee, it said.

Adityanath instructed the medical education and health department to take necessary action in this regard, it said.

Addressing a ‘Team 9’ meeting on Monday, Adityanath said the current strain of COVID has constantly been changing and is 30 to 50 times more infectious than it was in the first wave.

'In some cases, it has been observed that COVID's TruNat, Antigen or RTPCR test does not confirm COVID-19, even though CT scans show that lungs are affected by COVID. Such a problem has also been observed in people without symptoms,' he pointed out.

He said an advisory panel of health experts should be prepared at the state level for effective control and necessary strategy on COVID.

This panel will advise ‘TEAM 9’ from time to time and the consultation of health experts will be useful in formulating a strategy. PTI NAV RHL