New Delhi: The insurance scheme for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 has been extended further for a period of 180 days, and so far, 1,351 claims have been paid under it, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

The current period of the policy under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19′ is ending on October 20, the ministry said in a statement.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic has still not abated and deaths of health workers deployed for COVID-related duties are still being reported from different states/UTs (Union Territories), accordingly, the insurance policy has been extended with effect from 21.10.2021 for a further period of 180 days so as to continue to provide a safety net to the dependents of health workers who are deputed to take care of COVID-19 patients,” it said.

So far, 1,351 claims have been paid under the scheme, the statement said.

A letter, dated October 20, to this effect has been issued to the additional chief secretaries (health), principal secretaries (health), secretaries (health) of all states and UTs for giving wide publicity among health workers, it said.

The ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19’ was launched on March 30 last year to provide comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs. 50 lakh to 22.12 lakh health care providers, including community health workers and private health workers, who are in direct contact with and care of COVID-19 patients.

Further, on account of the unprecedented situation, private hospital staff, retired, volunteers, local urban bodies, contract, daily wage, ad-hoc and outsourced staff requisitioned by states, central hospitals and autonomous hospitals of central, states and UTs, AIIMS and institute of national importance and hospitals of central ministries, specifically drafted for the care of COVID-19 patients, are also covered under the PMGKP, the ministry said.

Also read | How COVID-19 proved to be a litmus test of Indian nurses’ mental strength

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