‘Govt prepares package for frontline health workers fighting COVID-19’


By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: The government has prepared a comprehensive support package for frontline health workers fighting COVID-19. This was stated by Health Adviser Dr. Zafar Mirza while briefing the media about the upcoming package in Islamabad on Friday.
He said the doctors, nurses and other paramedics who are working in emergencies, quarantine and isolation centers caring the patients of coronavirus are our national heroes and their protection is the main responsibility of the government.
He said the package has been prepared after a week-long consultation with health experts from all over the country. He said the federal and provincial governments will be responsible at their level to implement the package. The Health Adviser said the package consists of 7 points including financial support, security, training, care, healthcare, private health supports and recognition at national level.
He said tax exemption for frontline workers who embrace shahadat will be given package from 3 to 10 million rupees. He said the government will provide adequate PPEs to all frontline health workers responsible for COVID-19 patient care. He said security for hospitals and staff involved in COVID-19 patient care will also be ensured.
He said PEMRA will lay down code of conduct for print and electronic media to refrain from character assassination of health workers.
The Adviser said the training will be given to them in critical care management of COVID-19 patients while the training program for rational use of PPEs will also be part of the “We Care Program†. He said under the package psycho-social support will be provided to these workers.
He said under the package, COVID-19 tests will be prioritized for infected workers and provided specialized medicines for them. Dr. Zafar Mirza said interest-free loans for private hospitals through the package of State Bank will be provided to ensure payment of salaries, while these hospitals will also be exempted from tax for import of equipment and accessories required for the establishment of critical care facilities.
The Adviser said the strategy is also under process to recognition including Honour and Awards on National days.
He said it is impossible to stop the spread of the virus without following the precautionary measures issued by the government