France to honour health workers killed by Covid-19 with special status

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 21, 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 21, 2021. © Martin Bureau, AFP

France will confer a special honour on health workers who die from Covid while fighting the pandemic, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.


He said a status called “died in the service of the republic” would be created to honour public employees who lose their life “in exceptional circumstances”.

A similar “died in the service of the nation” status already exists for police and the military, while “died for France” is reserved for soldiers and civilians killed in battle.

“I want us to give our gratitude a solid legal foundation,” Macron said in a video post on Twitter.

The new status would allow the children of the deceased to become wards of the state with a right to receive material and moral support from the government, he said.

The current status reserved for military and police entitles the children they leave behind to financial help for education and job training, including free schooling and scholarships.

The new status was aimed at those “who in the middle of the pandemic look after the lives of others”, Macron said, calling the new status “an act of justice and fraternity”.

Other circumstances that would entitle a public servant to the status include death during rescue operations or military manoeuvres.


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