Odisha Government has decided to confer the status of martyrs to those doctors and health care professionals who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, battling against Coronavirus.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in convergence with the Central government initiative has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the family of all the public and private health care personnel who lose their lives treating the COVID-19 patients.
The Odisha CM also said that the state will treat them as martyrs and provide funerals with state honours. A detailed scheme of awards will be instituted in recognition of their unparalleled sacrifice and the awards will be conferred on national days.
The CM also added that families of the health care personnel will continue to receive salaries until the date of retirement. The government will also invoke the NSA on those who attack doctors.
"Any act against them (doctors and health care professionals) will be considered as an act against the state. In case anyone indulges in any act that will disturb or dishonour their work, very strict criminal action will be taken against them including invoking the provisions of the National Security Act (NSA). The four and a half crore people of Odisha and the state stand in solidarity behind the COVID warriors," Patnaik said in his address.
This decision comes at a time when the doctors and health care personnel who are the frontline warriors against the pandemic are putting all their might to fight the contagious virus and it will be an encouraging move for the medical fraternity at a time when there are growing incidents of attacks on doctors and healthcare professions reported across the country.
Recently a team of doctors visiting the COVID-19 patient in Moradabad was attacked by the mob in the area with heavy stone-pelting, resulting in severe injuries to the seven including doctors and health workers and ambulance driver. The culprits have now been arrested. Several such cases have been reported across the country.