CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday announced Rs 25 lakh as solatium to each of the families of 43 doctors who have lost their lives while engaged in treating COVID-19 patients and related work. He also announced incentives to medical professionals engaged in COVID prevention work for three months -- April, May and June -- during the second wave of the infection.
An official release here said the Chief Minister has decided to pay incentives to medical professionals in appreciation of the extraordinary service rendered by them including doctors, nurses, cleanliness workers, lab technicians, CT scan employees, employees of ambulance services and others who have been engaged in treatment of COVID-19 and related work.
The following will be the incentives: Doctors (Rs 30,000), nurses (Rs 20,000) and other employees (Rs 15,000). Similarly, house surgeons and postgraduate medical students who are engaged in COVID-19 treatment related work will be given Rs 20,000.
Welcoming the announcement, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam, in a Twitter message, thanked the Chief Minister for it. "We thank the Chief Minister for accepting our demand made a few days ago in this regard," he added. However, no statement has come from the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Edappadi K Palaniswami in this regard.
Reacting to the announcement, BJP state president L Murugan, in a statement, recalled that the DMK and its allies, on April 15, 2020, demanded that Rs 1 crore per person should be given as compensation for frontline medical staff engaged in Corona-related work. Later, on August 6, when the AIADMK government reduced the compensation to medical staff who die while engaged in COVID-prevention work from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, the DMK stoutly opposed it. "So, it is improper for the Chief Minister to go back on his demand made when he was the Opposition leader. As such, he should order compensation of Rs 1 crore to medical professionals who die during COVID-prevention work and provide government employment to one of their family members,” he added.
Meanwhile, VCK general secretary and MP D Ravikumar, in a statement here, appealed to the Chief Minister to appoint final-year nursing course students in COVID treatment related work by providing them a special pay. In this connection, the MP referred to the guidelines issued by the central government recently that final-year nursing students can be appointed for 100 days to treat COVID-19 patients by providing insurance coverage and special pay.