President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the French government will award the posthumous ‘died in the service of the republic’ honor to healthcare staff who lost their life to Covid-19 while helping to fight the pandemic.
Speaking in a video statement posted to his official Twitter account on Friday, Macron stated that the newly created honor will “give our gratitude a solid legal foundation” for those who gave their life to serve France during the Covid pandemic.
The award will also extend a similar status to other public employees who die “in exceptional circumstances”.
The families of those who receive the award from the French government will be eligible for material and moral support from officials, including financial help for education and employment training, as well as the opportunity for free scholarships.
In his address, Macron described the decision to grant the status as “an act of justice and fraternity” that is owed to those “who in the middle of the pandemic look after the lives of others.”
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Other similar state honors already offered in France include the ‘died in the service of the nation’ status, which is awarded to police and military officials who lose their lives in the line of duty, while the title ‘died for France’ is granted to French citizens killed on the battlefield.
Since the start of the pandemic, France has recorded 490 Covid infections among healthcare workers, with 63 fatalities reported, according to the latest available data from March 2021.
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