Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Thursday said the state government would provide jobs to families of doctors, nurses and health staff if they die in the line of duty while dealing with coronavirus patients. The state government had earlier announced a Rs 4 lakh life insurance cover for the frontline workers engaged in the COVID-19 fight.
Deb’s announcement came amid allegations from government nurses at Gobinda Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital and Kailashahar District Hospital in Unakoti district Wednesday where they said medical staff were not given sufficient protective gears to handle patients. In a purported video clip, nurses had alleged they are short of masks, sanitisers, handwash, soaps, gloves, PPE kits in the hospital.
Reacting to the allegations, CM Deb said statements made by the nurses were meant to create panic and that his government would initiate strict action against them.
“Nurses are not kept to run the hospital. Secretary and officials above them alone can speak to the media. The Medical Superintendent (of GBP Hospital) has sufficient experience on whom to give PPE. We have sufficient PPE, gloves, sanitisers etc. in stock. The state government will take very strict steps against those saying things to people through media to create panic,” he said.
The chief minister also visited the state-run (GBP) Hospital and Indira Gandhi Memorial (IGM) Hospital to review preparedness for tackling COVID-19.
Speaking to reporters after his visit, Deb said his government has already announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for any doctor, nurse or other healthcare worker if they die due to coronavirus in the line of duty.
“We had earlier announced that if any doctor, nurse or health staff dies due to COVID-19, we shall provide 4 lakh compensation to their families. Even then, I am assuring here that if anything befalls doctor, nurses due to coronavirus, the state government will ensure jobs to their families,” the CM said.
Deb claimed Tripura has sufficient stock of protective gears for healthcare personnel engaged in duty. In a social media post Wednesday, he wrote that the state has got 1,400 PPE kits while GBP Hospital alone has got 111 of these in addition to 1,420 N-95 masks, 8,299 triple layer masks, a lakh gloves, sufficient hand sanitiser bottles, good stock of rectified spirit while 10,000 litres of sanitisers were prepared in the state in the wake of necessities. Additionally, 2,500 PPEs are coming from Guwahati, he wrote.
“After coming here (hospital), I spoke to our only COVID-19 patient. She has said she is fine, she is getting food and other services. I have told her that test reports indicate she is recovering. A positive case in Manipur recovered. I am hopeful our patient will recover very soon as well,” he said.
CM Deb assured that there is no further spread of the virus here as all the 17 ‘high risk’ persons who came in contact with the state’s lone COVID-19 patient were tested negative.
So far, Tripura has tested over 274 persons, with a few thousand under quarantine.
Meanwhile, Tripura Police has arrested another person for rumour mongering and spreading fake news about coronavirus on social media. Akbar Hossain was booked in a case registered by Jirania Sub-Divisional Magistrate under section 54 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 yesterday.
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