Bhubaneswar: As many as 25 corona warriors have died in Odisha while performing COVID-19 related duty, a senior official said Wednesday.
The frontline warriors who have succumbed to the viral infection were deployed in dedicated hospitals, COVID care centres, temporary medical camps and COVID care homes, he said.
The 25 deaths account for 11.11 per cent of the state’s coronavirus death toll which stands at 225, the official said.
Asking people to observe silent prayer in memory of the COVID warriors, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “These people had been working for more than 150 days, without any rest, since the outbreak of the pandemic in the state.”
The state had registered its first COVID-19 positive case March 15 and the first fatality April 6.
“While saving us, 25 of them (frontline workers) have laid down their lives,” Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said in his twitter post.
Most of them hailed from Ganjam district, the state’s coronavirus hotspot district, which has so far reported 117 fatalities and a caseload of 11,812, sources said.
The deceased COVID warriors included health workers, police personnel, anganwadi and ASHA workers, teachers and panchayati raj institution (PRI) functionaries.
Highlighting their supreme sacrifice, Jena said, “Today more than 25,000 COVID-19 patints have recovered in our state and gone back to their homes. It is no mean achievement. This has been possible due to the selfless, untiring and dedicated work of our COVID warriors.”
Apart from according the status of a martyr to the frontline warriors who lost their lives while fighting COVID-19, the state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the family members of the deceased COVID warriors.
The Odisha government has also announced that the next of kin of the deceased Angawadi and ASHA workers, will get Rs 7,500 and Rs 5,000 per month respectively, till the date the frontline workers would have attained the age of 60 years, had they been alive.
The chief minister has directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the families of the corona warriors get their dues in time.
Over 2 lakh people are engaged as corona warriors in the state.