1 300 Govt Covid-19 insurance claims

08 Jan, 2021 - 00:01 0 Views
1 300 Govt Covid-19 insurance claims

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
OVER 1 300 civil servants have tested Covid-19 positive since the first case was recorded in the country in March last year, according to statistics supplied by the Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday.

The total number of those who succumbed to the virus was not immediately availed.

The highest number of positive cases were recorded in the Ministry of Health and Child Care where 1 000 workers submitted claims to be paid under Government’s insurance policy covering State employees who have contracted the virus.

The Health Ministry is followed by the Ministry of Lands, Water, Agriculture, Climate and Rural Resettlement which recorded 90 positive cases and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage with 53 cases.

The positive cases are from January 7 this year.

Government has started paying those who caught the virus following its decision last year to insure its employees against Covid-19.

The amounts of money paid under the health insurance cover range from US$650 to US$1 000 paid in local currency at the prevailing official exchange rate.

Under the insurance policy, money is paid after all checks have been done to make sure that only genuine or authentic claims are honoured.

The Task Force on Harmonisation and Standardisation of the Public Sector Remuneration Framework resolved that those who catch the virus be covered by the insurance.

It was resolved that if a member in Grade E5 and below tests Covid-19 positive and/or falls ill due to Covid-19, the member is paid a grant in local equivalent to US$650. A member in Grade F and above in the same circumstances will be paid a grant equivalent to US$1 000.

Permanent secretaries who have been part of the essential services and have been working since March last year when the national lockdown was implemented are among those who will get US$1 000.

In the event of the death of a member due to Covid-19, the surviving members of the family will be given the mentioned amount.

So far civil servants who have been paid the health insurance cover after getting infected by Covid-19 in the line of duty are 59, but the figure does not include those in the health sector.

In a written response to questions from the Chronicle yesterday, PSC head pay and benefits development and person in charge of welfare issues for civil servants, Mr Elson Gonye said, the Health Ministry had submitted names of 1 000 civil servants in the health sector who must be paid after contracting the virus.

Mr Elson Gonye

He referred questions on the exact number of civil servants who tested Covid-19 positive in the ministry to the Health Services Board but the exact figures could not be obtained immediately.

Mr Gonye said apart from the 1 000 civil servants in the Health Ministry whose names were submitted for payment yesterday, there were 302 other civil servants who tested Covid-19 positive in 19 other Government Ministries.

“A total of 302 civil servants have tested positive for Covid-19 and of these, 59 have received their health insurance cover. Outstanding are 242 civil servants.

“The statistics are excluding the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Today in the morning they (Health Ministry) gave me a figure of 1 000 who are still to be paid. Kindly get exact statistics from Health Services Board,” he said.

Mr Gonye said the PSC every day is in the process of collecting statistics from line ministries.

Civil servants who test Covid-19 positive are encouraged to apply for the health insurance cover through their respective ministries.

Before payment, the results are verified by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

On Sunday, Acting President Kembo Mohadi said going outdoors should be viewed as a life-or-death decision due to the sharp increase of Covid-19 cases and called for immediate behaviour change.

Acting President Kembo Mohadi

His sentiments follow the announcement of stricter Covid-19 regulations by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care on Saturday.

Gatherings such as weddings and church services have been banned for 30 days while bars, bottle stores, gyms and restaurants have been ordered to shut down.

Formal and non-formal businesses were suspended from Monday while those providing essential services such as pharmacies and supermarkets will open at 8am and close at 3pm.

Only those workers providing essential services will be allowed to report for work during the 30 days.

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