NEW DELHI: Insurance scheme for frontline health workers has been extended for another six months, the government said on Friday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the functioning of different empowered groups through video conference.
A statement said Modi has also asked officials to explore how volunteers from civil society can be utilised to lessen the pressure on healthcare sector by being drafted in non-specialised tasks, as the government looks to further step up its response to fighting COVID-19.
In a tweet, Modi said, "Chaired a meeting during which the working of the various empowered groups was reviewed. These empowered groups are looking into various aspects of COVID relief and helping people."
It was discussed in the meeting that NGOs could help to establish and maintain lines of communication between patients, their dependents and health care personnel, while ex-servicemen could be encouraged to handle call centres for communicating with people under home quarantine.
The central government should work in close coordination with the states to ensure that the poor get the benefits of free food-grain without any issues, the statement quoting Modi said.
Steps should be taken to expedite the settlement of pending insurance claims so that the dependents of the deceased are able to avail of benefits in time, the prime minister added.
The Empowered Group on Economic and Welfare measures made a presentation to Modi on steps like an extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, under which over 80 crore people will get free ration for May and June, and it was noted that portability enabled due to 'One Nation One Ration Card' initiative has helped benefit more people.
The Empowered Group on coordinating with the private sector, NGOs and international organizations briefed the prime minister on how the government is working in active partnership with private sector, NGOs and international organisations.