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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of all Sarpanchs who lose their lives in the battle against Covid-19.

Hailing the Sarpanchs as frontline warriors in the battle against Covid-19 at grassroots level, Patnaik said for the benefit of their families they have been included in the scheme of Rs 50 lakh financial assistance announced earlier.

The Chief Minister said that the sarpanchs are performing a very important work of properly managing the temporary medical centres (TMC), quarantine centres and other Covid facilities with dedication.

"They are our frontline warriors," he said.

Similarly, anyone, both from private and government sector, engaged in the management of TMCs, quarantine centres, special coronavirus hospitals and other Covid facilities are also our warriors against pandemic, Patnaik said.

Their families will also be provided with same financial assistance, said the Chief Minister, who took to Twitter to make the announcement.

The Odisha Government had earlier empowered sarpanchs with the authority of Collector for strengthening the fight against coronavirus by smooth management of returnees and temporary medical centres.

Earlier on April 21, the Chief Minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of all health workers and support staff who lose their lives in the fight against COVID-19. He had also announced that the government will treat them as martyrs.

Odisha reported 624 coronavirus positive cases till May 14. Ganjam district remained worst-affected with 252 positive cases followed by Balasore (90) and Jajpur (88). The total active cases in the State stood at 450 with 158 recoveries and three deaths.

(With PTI inputs)

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