Over 2,000 healthcare professionals in the State have contracted virus, 14 have died

Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy said the government is working to ensure ₹50 lakh insurance benefit to healthcare professionals who have succumbed to COVID-19.

Of the 80,000 to 1 lakh medical professionals in Telangana who have been rendering COVID-19 services, over 2,000 have contracted the infectious disease and at least 14 have died.

At a press conference held at State Health Campus, Koti, on Tuesday afternoon, he displayed a document to show their work in this direction. He said that an officer has been appointed to process documentation work related to it. He, along with Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao, said that they always immediately respond when a healthcare worker contracts COVID-19.

After the death of 35-year-old doctor G. Naresh Kumar, who contracted COVID-19 and died on August 7, the demand for ex-gratia and insurance policy for the professionals has increased. Dr Naresh was Deputy District Medical and Health Officer in Bhadradri-Kothagudem and headed the Manuguru-based quarantine centre. He succumbed to the virus after battling it for over a week.

Associations comprising doctors and nurses requested the State government to extend financial help to Dr Kumar’s family. When there was no announcement in that regard for over 10 days, doctors and nurses decided to hold press conference on August 24 to raise the demand. The night before the press meet, Health Minister Eatala Rajender announced that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has given his assent to provide a gazetted job to Dr Kumar’s wife and that a decision was taken to announce ex-gratia too.

However, the healthcare professionals wanted a system where financial assistance would be extended to the kin of COVID warriors. Representatives of the associations addressed mediapersons on Monday demanding insurance policy for all healthcare workers, so that they have some assurance even if they contract COVID-19.

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