The Karnataka government is mulling providing additional health insurance coverage to doctors and paramedics treating the COVID-19 cases and working in the laboratories besides existing schemes, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Tuesday. Stressing that their safety was ‘paramount’, he also asked them to follow the guidelines laid down by the Health department while treating COVID-19 cases, the number of which has risen to four in the state.
He was speaking after inaugurating a new laboratory which will have testing facilities for coronavirus and other pathogens, including H1N1, at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) at the Victoria Hospital campus here. We are also thinking of providing, in addition to whatever schemes we have, extra health insurance to health officials who are working in labs and also in the hospitals who are treating COVID-19 cases, he said.
The minister said the matter was under discussion and they would come out with an announcement. Doctors, paramedics and those working in the labs need it (mask) the most. You have to protect yourself first. There should not be any scope for professional negligence, he added. Noting that even those who do not have any symptoms of the coronavirus were rushing to medical shops to get masks, he said more than the masks, public awareness was the need of the hour.
“Only those who have symptoms of the disease, have to wear the mask compulsorily, he added. Speaking about the laboratory, he said it had been accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and can conduct five types of tests. The state-of-the-art centre will provide diagnostics facilities to investigate various viral outbreaks, including coronavirus and H1N1, officials said.