The government of Tamil Nadu will be bearing the medical expenses of workers across essential departments who are at the frontline in the battle against COVID-19 in the state if they contract the coronavirus infection.
A government order issued on Saturday conveyed the announcement and also added that an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh would be provided to the workers if they test positive for coronavirus during the course of their work.
The order also stated that the medical cover would be reviewed by the government after May 30. The medical cover will be applicable only to the staff members of the departments of Health and Family Welfare, Police, Revenue and Disaster Management, Sanitation and conservancy workers, rural and urban local bodies workers involved in various aspects of COVID-19 management plan of the government.
A senior government official told The Hindu that the order has nothing to do with the lockdown and that this is a precautionary measure aimed at providing benefits to the staff who are working round the clock amid the pandemic. The government order also stated that all the frontline workers must be provided with adequate protective equipment like masks, boots and gloves while being sent to work for COVID-19 management across the state.
Tamil Nadu has screened over 2 lakh passengers across the state so far for COVID-19 symptoms and has placed around 90,000 people on home quarantine as per data released by the Department of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. A total of 5015 samples have been sent for testing in Tamil Nadu of which 4099 have returned negative for the virus.
Tamil Nadu has reported 621 positive cases of COVID-19 till Monday evening including six deaths and 13 recoveries. Apart from testing those who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi, the state government is also testing those who present with symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) for possible COVID-19 infection.