Odisha to provide Rs 50 lakh assistance to health staff who lose lives fighting coronavirus

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also said that the health workers and staff who lose their lives in the fight against coronavirus will be treated as martyrs.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of health workers and staff who lose their lives in the fight against coronavirus.

He said the government will treat them as martyrs.

"The state government in convergence with the Centre's initiative will ensure that Rs 50 lakh is given to all health personnel, both private and public, and members of all other support services, who lose their precious lives in the fight against COVID-19," the chief minister said in a video message.

A detailed scheme of awards will be instituted, recognising their unparalleled sacrifice, he said, adding that "the families of all government personnel, medical staff, and others, will continue to receive full salary till the date of retirement".

The awards will be given on national days, the chief minister said.

Emphasising that the war against the dreaded virus is being fought by doctors and healthcare professionals who are assisted by an army of support services providers, Patnaik said they are taking a huge risk and putting themselves on the frontline in this battle.

Patnaik also appealed to the people to be grateful for the selfless service being rendered by doctors, health professionals, and other support staff and said, "any act against them is an act against the state".

He said strict action will be taken against anyone indulging in any act that will disturb or dishonour them and warned of invoking the National Security Act (NSA) against the offenders.

"We have a rich tradition of honouring our bravehearts who fight for the country and acknowledge their supreme sacrifice. In the same spirit, we propose to recognise and honour the valiant work being done by COVID-19 warriors," he said.

The four-and-a-half crore people of Odisha stand solidly behind them, Patnaik said.

The chief minister expressed concern about the fact that the world has lost more than 1.7 lakh lives in a span of three months and most countries are in a state of war against the invisible enemy, he added.

Edited by Suman Singh


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