Punjab govt to not bear Covid-19 treatment cost if health workers don’t take vaccine
The Punjab government has maintained that frontline workers who skip the vaccination drive will not be compensated for Covid-19 treatment if they contract the virus. The workers will not be allowed to take quarantine or isolation leave, NDTV reported.
This comes as the state reports a low inoculation rate as many workers chose to not receive the vaccine shots.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu said in a statement, “Healthcare workers who do not get vaccinated to boost their immunity for Covid-19, despite being given repeated opportunities and in case they get the infection at a later stage, they will have to bear the cost of their treatment and they will not be allowed to avail quarantine or isolation leave.”
“There is a dire need to get vaccinated for all healthcare workers to deal with any unprecedented situation. Punjab is among the six states where Covid-19 cases are rising and we should prepare to fight it like a second wave,” the state Health Minister added.
Sidhu further said, “These rising cases indicate that Covid-19 is not over yet and Punjab may witness a surge in the number of cases. This highlights the need for following Covid-19 appropriate behavior like social distancing, wearing a mask, hand sanitisation, and respiratory etiquettes.”
The health minister also raised concerns over the low vaccine rate in Punjab and revealed that only 2.06 lakh healthcare workers and 1.82 lakh frontline workers registered for Covid-19 inoculation.
“Some 79,000 or 38 per cent healthcare workers and 4,000 frontline workers have been vaccinated and this coverage has not been up to the mark. The vaccine is safe and effective and not even a single case of death or any serious adverse effect has been reported in Punjab… No one should be misled by rumours and misinformation,” the Health Minister said.
In view of the low turnout, the government has also extended the date for the first dose of vaccine for healthcare workers i.e. February 19 to 25.
Also read: Covid-19: India records 14,264 new cases
According to the Tribune report, Punjab is one of the five states that saw an upsurge in daily Covid cases over the past week. The state recorded a 47.30 per cent rise in 24-hour infections between February 14 and 20.