The Punjab government has decided to provide an additional incentive of ₹1,500 to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for COVID-19 related work, the state Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Wednesday, September 16.
"The 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 spread," Sidhu was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
"It has included community awareness through home visits on key aspects related to COVID transmission and prevention, contact tracing, facilitating access to testing etc," he added.
Lauding the efforts of the workers, the Minister said that ASHAs covered over 50 lakh households and surveyed around 2.5 crore population under screening campaign.
"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," Sidhu said.
"In view of the additional workload on account of COVID related work, the state has been giving an additional incentive of ₹1,000 per month from January 2020 onwards adding that state has also given an additional incentive of ₹1,500 per month from April to June 2020 for conducting house to house survey," he added.
The Minister stated that till August 2020, the government spent around ₹25 crore on ASHAs COVID incentive.
"Recognizing their role as COVID warriors, Punjab government would continue to give incentive of ₹1,500 per month from July month onwards for undertaking COVID related additional work," Sidhu said.
He added that the incentives were also being provided to ASHAs and facilitators who test positive for COVID-19.