NEW DELHI: The Centre for the first time gave a hint on the number of healthcare workers, who so far, have laid their lives in the line of Covid-19 duty, saying that so far it has received 131 claims for compensation under a central insurance scheme for frontline workers.
Conceding that the clearing the compensation claims has been slow in several cases, a senior official in the Union Ministry of the Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said that 64 claims have been processed so far.
Rajesh Bhushan, officer on special duty in the health ministry, also said that the highest number of claims were from Maharashtra, Delhi, and Telangana.
Anticipating the deaths of healthcare workers, the Union Government had announced an insurance scheme for them with a coverage of Rs 50 lakh on March 26 as part of its Rs 1.7 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package.
“Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic,” the official press note had said. “Safai karamcharis, ward boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists, and other health workers would be covered.”
Later, the health ministry’s information brochure of the insurance schemes had said that the scheme will also cover “private hospital staff”.
There is no official data on the number of frontline workers who have died of Covid-19 in India but there have been numerous reports of doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, community health workers, and others succumbing to the infectious disease almost every other day.
A document released by the Indian Medical Association — the largest body of private doctors—had claimed that the pandemic has claimed 99 of its members by July 15.
The association had said that early 50 of those dead were general practitioners, followed by more than 40 specialists and some residents as well.
Meanwhile, on a day, 52,123 new Covid-19 cases were detected within a 24-hour window, the Centre underlined that 1,02, 0582 patients have now recovered from the disease.
It also said that in 31 states, the testing per million per day is now above WHO recommended figure of 140—which is crucial to control the pandemic — and reiterated that implementation of the central Covid-19 clinical management in states has led to improvement in the case fatality rate.
Though the country recorded 775 deaths on Wednesday, taking the Covid-19 death tally to 34, 968 so far, its CFR now stands at 2.21% — much better than many other countries affected badly in the pandemic.