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Coronavirus pandemic: New India Assurance to provide Rs 50 lakh coverage to 22 lakh healthcare providers

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers and a few others working in hospitals under Central and State governments will be covered under the insurance scheme.

March 30, 2020 / 09:15 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

State-owned New India Assurance has been entrusted to provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to about 22 lakh health care providers, who are on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.

This was part of the Rs 1.70 lakh Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last Thursday.

"As announced by Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman on March 26, @NewIndAssurance has issued detailed guidelines for providing insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for 22.12 lakh health care providers across the country," a tweet by the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers and a few others working in hospitals under Central and State governments will be covered under the insurance scheme.

Sitharaman had said the insurance cover will be there for three months. In a confirmation letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New India Assurance said, "We confirm that the risk coverage has commenced with immediate effect and the coverage will continue till June 30, 2020."


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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It also said that the premium payment process has been initiated. The tailor-made policy will provide comprehensive personal accident cover, including accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19 pandemic disease, it said.

With regard to claim procedure, it said, simple and seamless standard operating procedure (SOP) to be finalised by the insurer, the Department of Financial Services and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it added.

The insurance policy is underwritten by the Delhi divisional office of Mumbai-based New India Assurance.

While announcing the scheme, the Finance Minister had said, safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered by a special insurance Scheme.

"Any health professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, meet with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme," she had said.

All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of the Centre, as well as states, would be covered under this scheme, she had said.
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