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St. Petersburg Doctors Compensated Based on ‘Percentage of Guilt’ for Getting Coronavirus

The head of Russia’s second-largest city has promised hazard pay ranging from 300,000 rubles ($3,800) to 1 million rubles ($12,700) to medics battling Covid-19. Moskva News Agency

Authorities in St. Petersburg have pledged to pay compensation to doctors who become infected with the coronavirus — but only after an investigation establishes their level of responsibility for getting it, according to newly adopted rules.

The head of Russia’s second-largest city has promised hazard pay ranging from 300,000 rubles ($3,800) to 1 million rubles ($12,700), depending on the severity of the infection, to medics battling Covid-19.

A special commission will determine the degree of the doctors’ responsibility for contracting Covid-19 following a five-day investigation, according to the St. Petersburg health committee’s act dated April 27.

The commission is required to identify “the medical worker’s guilt (as a percentage) and its justification” in a special form before deciding whether a worker qualifies for compensation.  Factors influencing the percentage of guilt include personal violations of sanitary standards, unsanitary working conditions, a lack of proper ventilation or a lack of protective equipment.

Unlike Moscow, where deaths from Covid-19 are tallied regardless of accompanying diseases, St. Petersburg’s official statistics only count Covid-19 as the cause of death if the patient has no other diseases, the news website reported Friday.

“The same method will be applied to doctors,” the outlet quoted an unnamed St. Petersburg administration official as saying in reference to the city’s compensation program.

Around 250 St. Petersburg doctors, paramedics and orderlies have contracted Covid-19 — half of which are said to have been work-related — and eight have died from the disease as of Thursday. An unofficial tally kept by colleagues lists 11 St. Petersburg medics who have died after contracting Covid-19.

St. Petersburg has confirmed 5,346 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, third among Russia’s regions and almost 4% of the 145,268 nationwide cases reported as of Monday.

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