Nearly fourteen months since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, following a core committee meeting on Wednesday, announced that cremation ground workers will qualify as “corona warriors” and will be entitled to benefits associated with a “corona warrior”, retrospectively from April 1, 2020.

The state government also announced that it will set up oxygen plants at 348 community health centres (CHCs) across the state, in preparation of a possible third wave of Covid-19 surge in the state.

On Wednesday, Gujarat reported 11,017 new cases and 102 deaths, even as the number of critical patients sees no abatement, with 804 patients on ventilators across the state, as per the state health bulletin.

In the core committee meeting, chaired by Rupani, it was also decided that the beneficiaries of the state health insurance schemes of Mukhyamantri Amrutam (MA) and MA-Vataslya, shall now also cover Covid-19 treatment of u pto a daily cap of Rs 5,000 for a period of 10 days, that is a total sum of Rs 50,000, in private hospitals. This will be eligible for families with valid cards upto July 10. This will benefit around 80 lakh families in the state, stated an official release Wednesday.

Benefits for cremation ground workers — including those performing final rites as well any other employee at a cremation ground — after being qualified as ‘corona warriors’ will include compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the next of kin of any such worker or employee, who lost their lives to Covid-19, on the line of duty.

Apart from installing 348 oxygen plants, Minister of state for Health Kishor Kanani also announced that 175 new ambulances have been purchased and added to the 108 GVK emergency services’ fleet.

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