Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that healthcare professionals and sanitation workers were no less than “soldiers” in India’s fight against the coronavirus, and announced that his administration will give Rs 1 crore to their families if their death is caused by Covid-19. The compensation will be provided to the families of both private and government healthcare workers, Kejriwal said.
“The contribution of doctors, nurses and sanitation workers is no less than that of soldiers,” Kejriwal said at a digital press conference. “I really hope that it doesn’t happen but if they die while serving coronavirus patients, the government will give Rs 1 crore to their families as a mark of respect for their work.” Kejriwal added that the amount was not equivalent to the work they were putting in and their contribution cannot be measured in terms of money.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal interacted with doctors and paramedical staff over video conference and praised them for their efforts in fighting Covid-19. He also assured them that the government will take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
Earlier, the Centre had announced that medical professionals and sanitation workers, who are at the front of the nation’s war on the deadly disease, will be provided a health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh.
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As many as 24 cases were reported on Tuesday from the Delhi mosque, which has emerged as a hotspot for the disease. A religious congregation had been held there early in March despite certain restrictions on mass gatherings. The government and the police have evacuated 2,361 persons from the Nizamuddin Markaz, where a congregation was said to be the source of dozens of Covid-19 infections across the country.
In its latest update, the Union Ministry of Health has confirmed 120 coronavirus cases in Delhi. On Wednesday, a doctor at the government-run Delhi State Cancer Institute in Dilshad Garden tested positive for the coronavirus after which the hospital was closed. In a separate case, a doctor couple who worked at mohalla clinics had in March tested positive for the coronavirus.
A 49-year-old doctor, who worked in a mohalla clinic in Maujpur, was diagnosed with the disease on March 21 after being infected by a patient who had returned from Saudi Arabia. His 48-year-old wife, a doctor working at another mohalla clinic, and their 17-year-old daughter also tested positive
India has reported 240 new Covid-19 cases since Tuesday night. The total number of cases has now risen to 1,637. The deadly disease has killed 38 people in the country.