TS turning blind eye as school teachers die of COVID-19

Around 225 school teachers have succumbed to the virus as of 14 May, according to the Telangana State United Teachers Federation (TSUTF). Of these, 166 teachers who died were working while 59 were retired.

By Sumit Jha  Published on  14 May 2021 3:21 PM GMT
TS turning blind eye as school teachers die of COVID-19

Hyderabad: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Telangana, the virus is taking a toll on school teachers in the state. Around 225 school teachers have succumbed to the virus as of 14 May, according to the Telangana State United Teachers Federation (TSUTF). Of these, 166 teachers who died were working while 59 were retired.

TSUTF said that the high death toll of teachers in the second phase of the pandemic is a matter of grave concern. "On average, five teachers have died every day for the past month. Due to this, a terrible atmosphere is prevailing among the teachers," said K. Jangaiah, the president of TSUTF.

The highest death toll, 25, was in Sangareddy district followed by 16 in Hyderabad and 13 in Khammam.

Many infected during election duty

The Federation alleged that 500 teachers got infected with the virus during election duty for the Nagarjuna Sagar elections and municipal elections in Khammam, Warangal, Atchampet, Siddipet, Nakrekal, Jadcherla, and Kothur. It said that 15 teachers lost their life after contracting the virus during election duty, a majority of those were under the age of 40.

Lack of support and COVID-19 facilities

The Federation also said that despite spending lakhs of rupees on local private and corporate hospitals for COVID treatment, the survivors are still in debt. They have not received any support and that's why families of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) contract teachers are taking to the streets.

"TSUTF state committee has appealed to the government to take steps to prevent COVID deaths of teachers and to give priority to provide vaccination for teachers and support to the families of the deceased teachers," said Chava Ravi, the general secretary of TSUTF.

The Federation further said that the cost for COVID treatment ranges between Rs. 4-20 lakhs in private hospitals. "But the state government is repaying only Rs. 1 lakh that too only to those who have been treated in referral hospitals. Since all hospitals treating COVID-19 patients are not referral hospitals, there is less possibility of recovering even that money," added Chava Ravi.

The Federation demanded reimbursement to teachers who have been treated in hospitals where the state government has allowed COVID-19 treatment. "The maximum limit of Rs. 1 lakh on reimbursement of medical expenses should be lifted. Steps should be taken to provide cashless medical care on health cards. Ex-gratia should be given to families of those who died of the virus during election duties," said K. Jangaiah.

They also demand financial assistance and employment opportunities for the families of the deceased contract teachers.


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