Support package for frontline health workers prepared: Zafar Mirza

Support package for frontline health workers prepared: Zafar Mirza

Islamabad (Web Desk): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said that the government is preparing a special package for frontline health workers fighting COVID-19.

Briefing the media at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), he said that 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.

The SAPM said that 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.

Dr Zafar Mirza said the package consists of 7 points including financial support, security, training, care, healthcare, private health supports and recognition at national level, the Radio Pakistan reported.

He said tax exemption for frontline workers who embrace shahadat will be given package from Rs3 to Rs10 million.

Mirza said that the government will provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to all frontline health workers responsible for coronavirus patients’ care. He said security for hospitals and staff involved in COVID-19 patient care will also be ensured.

He said Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) will lay down code of conduct to prevent character assassination of health workers.

The SAPM said that training will be given to them in critical care management of COVID-19 patients while training program for rational use of PPEs will also be part of the "We Care Program". He added that psycho-social support will be provided to the workers under the package

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 package of State Bank would be provided to ensure payment of salaries, while these hospitals would also be exempted from tax for import of equipment and accessories required for establishment of critical care facilities.

He said strategy is also under process to recognition including Honour and Awards on National days.

The SAPM said it is impossible to stop spread of the virus without following the precautionary measures issued by the government.