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ICMR plans Rs 50L insurance cover for all 8K staff

New Delhi: Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths tolls, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has decided to provide a personal accident insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to all its 8,000 employees, which includes permanent, ad-hoc, contractual, outsourcing staff and consultants as well.

As per a senior ICMR official, besides the insurance cover, the institute has also decided to provide a lump sum benefit of Rs 50,000 to ICMR employees --- who found coronavirus positive during the diagnosis --- to meet the COVID-19 treatment expenses. An expression of interest from insurance companies has been invited by the ICMR in this regard. The last date of bid submission is Wednesday (June 3).

"Since the ICMR through its institutes and centres across the country is doing the testing of COVID-19 patient samples and coordinates the clinical trials, the chances of employees getting COVID-19 infection are higher. So the decision to provide insurance cover to our staff is aimed at boosting their morale in the fight against the coronavirus," a senior official said.

As per the tender notification issued on Saturday, the ICMR has stated that the insurance cover will be for all employees, including permanent, ad-hoc, project, contractual, outsourcing staff and consultants working across different ICMR institutes in the country.

The validity of the policy would be for 12 months and about 8,000 employees, including contractual staff, would be its beneficiaries, the ICMR stated in its one-page tender document.

The ICMR's proposed coverage for accidental death or disablement -- partial or total – offers Rs 50 lakh to every employee if there is any causality while performing COVD-19 duty, coverage for accidental death or disablement whether partial or total, coverage for loss of limbs, benefits of weekly compensation for temporary total disablement, medical expenses limited to actual expenses whether incurred in private hospitals or government hospitals with a limit of 5 per cent of the sum insured.

As per the ICMR paper, accidental death definition will include death due to COVID-19 infection, while deaths due to comorbidities aggravated by the COVID-19 infection will also be considered as death due to virus infection.

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