Q&A library

Will the online classes/coaching in the short-term really benefit the children?
We are almost being ‘forced’ into a time when learning online is becoming a necessity. We should see this as an opportunity and not a challenge.In the present times, learning subjects from various angles/ perspectives is very important. The best place to do that would be on the internet. Not only can the children read about various concepts online, they can get better insights with the help of videos, tutorials etc.Students are being encouraged to explore the internet to find solutions to problems and we should see this habit as an important one for the long term. We should take this opportunity to encourage our children to sustain such a learning spirit and focus them towards reading and developing depth as well.

I am unable to afford a laptop or pay for separate online learning modules? Do I have any options to still use online content?
There are multiple options that can be accessed through the phone as well. Youtube is an excellent place to start with free courses across almost every domain. There are other websites that are giving free trial courses like Skillshare, Coursera, FreecodeCamp, Classcentral and Codeacademy are some of the few that are giving free courses online.Laptops may also be purchased by financing it through a loan.

Are there any plans underway to allow Covid-19 patients to access private hospitals using a government insurance scheme?
There is no specific plan that will guarantee access to all private hospitals with a government health insurance scheme. However, the largest Government Health Insurance Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) offers coverage from 5 lakhs across select private hospitals. Apart from this there are many state-sponsored health schemes that offer access to private hospitals -- the list of private hospitals and the amount of coverage however will vary with each scheme.For more details, it is best to visit the website of the health insurance scheme enrolled in or call the centre/agent through which the enrolment was done.

In future for life insurance will COVID be a health rider?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has not yet introduced any policies under life insurance for Covid. Taking cue from the increasing panic amongst the people and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, all health insurers in India have started covering treatment for coronavirus under the regular health insurance policy. However, as per the directions of the IRDAI, insurers have introduced Coronavirus-specific health insurance products that provide dedicated coverage against the deadly virus.Such plans are an excellent way to compensate for loss of income during the treatment of the illness as the policyholder is paid the entire sum insured as a lump sum in case of testing positive for coronavirus. However, one must only buy these plans as a rider along with the regular indemnity based health plans that provide comprehensive coverage against all illnesses and ailments up to the total sum insured.

How accessible is the Covid test to me? Is it available at all medical centres or just select hospitals? Also, can anyone take the test even if asymptomatic?
Two kinds of tests are available for Covid-19: Viral tests and Antibody tests. A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. Decisions about testing are made by state and resident health departments or healthcare providers. You can visit your state or local health centres, health department’s website or dial local helpline number to look for the latest local information on testing and testing centres. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and want to get tested, call your state or nearest health centres, local health department first. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and are not tested, it is important to stay home. Right now people are getting tested only if a doctor advises them to do so, i.e. with a prescription for Covid-19 test from a qualified physician. The doctors decides and prescribes the Covid-19 test if you develop the acute onset of fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, depending upon your history of travel to affected countries or contact with any suspects.

Is there any health insurance provided specifically for the treatment of Covid-19?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has now allowed life, general and health insurers to offer Coronavirus specific short-term health insurance policies. These short-term policies will offer insurance for a period of 3-11 months. These policies are permitted to be offered both as individual and group products. A circular issued on 23 June 2020 lays down the guidelines for introduction of short-term health insurance policies providing cover for Covid-19 disease.The circular states, "With an objective of making insurance protection available to various sections of people in the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, it is considered that short-term health insurance policies providing coverages specific to Covid-19 disease is the need of the hour. Accordingly, all insurers (Life, General and Health Insurers) are allowed to offer Covid-19 specific short-term health insurance policies subject to these guidelines."Short-term health policy means any health insurance policy contract which has been issued for a policy term of 3 to 11 months. Within this period, the policy term shall be in multiples of completed months.

How long will this pandemic situation be in existence in our state?
The question of how and when India’s Covid-19 epidemic might end is a valid one. We are all aware that every country is working towards bringing out a vaccine for it. Yet, until that happens, the best we can do is to make the virus weak by stringent and effective measures that reduce transmission and localise the disease. In the best-case, the transmission could be stalled through rigorous testing, tracing and isolation.The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against Covid-19 are to:• Wash and sanitize your hands frequently and thoroughly• Keep your hands away from your face. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose• Cover a sneeze or cough with the bend of your elbow or a tissue. If a tissue is used, discard it immediately and wash your hands.•Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others•Maintain good hygiene and cleanliness especially after you have been outdoors.

Can local governments provide any health insurance schemes for a minimum premium amount?
Different government health schemes have different eligibility criteria. At a national level, the government offers the following public health insurance schemes at a nominal cost:1. Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana (RSBY) : The RSBY scheme provides health insurance coverage to families which are categorised as BPL (Below Poverty Line) families.2. PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) : This is the latest addition to Government health insurance schemes and is popularly called the Ayushman Bharat scheme.If the scheme is introduced by a state government, it is usually for the citizens of that particular state. Moreover, some schemes are meant only for those in the BPL category. As such, no government health schemes are open for all. The Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) launched by the Government of Tamil Nadu, The Karunya Arogya Suraksha Paddhati scheme launched in Kerala, etc. are state specific health insurance schemes with zero / minimum premium amount subject to the eligibility criteria of that particular state.

Is there any upskilling plan for health workers?
While healthcare workers all across the world have been lauded for their brave and selfless efforts, it is important to recognize the challenges they face and to assist them with concrete and accessible tools that address their needs.As part of the educational initiatives aimed towards promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), UNESCO New Delhi is supporting a training course designed to upskill nursing and healthcare professionals in India engaged in treating Covid-19 patients. This is an online course designed in a video and demonstration format, requiring around 4 hours, and allowing for self-paced progress. It is divided into modules, complemented with a series of assessments to ensure learning outcomes; providing a certificate upon successful completion. It is accessible at all times from any device (laptops, phones, tablets) free of cost.This is a collective effort by UNESCO New Delhi, Generation India Foundation (a social impact initiative of McKinsey & Company), Columbia Asia Hospital, The Trained Nurses' Association of India, ABP News, Learned Skills, and Hosmac aims to reach more than 100,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout India.The content for the course has been designed in line with the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) globally, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in India keeping in mind the broad guidelines and advice for the public to deal with Covid-19.

I have been offered a moratorium - should I accept it or not?
The decision to accept moratorium is to be made very carefully. For even though the interest rate will not change; the period for which interest will be charged will be increased. For e.g., if a moratorium of 3 months is availed, then interest will have to be paid for those 3 months too, in addition to the normal loan period (interest rate remains constant though). So, if your loan period is 9 months and you avail 3 months moratorium, then you will have to pay interest for 12 months in total. Thus, you should only avail moratorium if and only if you cannot under any circumstance make interest payment. If you can afford to pay interest regularly, then you should not opt for moratorium.

#RestartIndia Response Network
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