Chandigarh, September 16:

The Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu today announced additional incentive of Rs. 1500 to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for COVID-19 related work.

Giving details, Mr. Sidhu said that Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has acknowledged the tremendous efforts being made by more than 20,000 ASHAs & ASHA Facilitators (17,174 Rural ASHAs, 2,532 Urban ASHAs and 869 ASHA Facilitators) across the State in undertaking a range of community-based interventions related to containment of COVID-19 spread. It has included community awareness through home visits on key aspects related to COVID-19 transmission and prevention, contact tracing, facilitating access to testing etc.

Underscoring the efforts being made by ASHAs, he said that ASHAs have covered more than 50 lacs households and surveyed around 2.5 Crore population under screening campaign. He said that ASHAs are one of the significant and valuable members of the health system who are actively working at the grass-root level to contain the spread of coronavirus.

In view of the additional workload on account of COVID-19 related work, the State has been giving an additional incentive of Rs. 1000 per month from January, 2020 month onwards adding that State has also given an additional incentive of Rs. 1500 per month from April to June 2020 for conducting house to house survey.

Recognizing the role of ASHAs & ASHA Facilitators as COVID Warrior, Punjab Government would continue to give incentive of Rs. 1500 per month from July month onwards for undertaking COVID related additional work. He said that special incentive of Rs. 10,000 was also being provided to ASHAs and Facilitators who tested positive for COVID-19. He said that Punjab Government spent around Rs. 25 Crore on ASHAs COVID incentive till August 2020.

Mr. Sidhu said that he also instructed the Director, National Health Mission to ensure timely payments of ASHAs and Facilitators by 7th of every month.

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