Already as nearly 1.5 lakh bank employee get infected, about 1,200 lose lives in Covid

Banking being an essential service, branches have been open with most of its staff reporting into office even during lockdown. Bank employees have been caught between a rock and a hard place fighting the pandemic on one hand, and dealing with the pressure to attend to customers that walk into branches, on the other hand.

Though many banks have theoretically reduced staff strength at branches, in many cases, employees have been asked to attend offices, exposing them to the risk of infections, said several employees Moneycontrol spoke to across different bank and employee unions.

The number of infections and associated deaths have gone up sharply in the second wave of the pandemic with cases spiking across different states.

Around one-and-half lakh bank employees have been affected by the coronavirus so far across different banks. Among them, around 1,200 employees have already succumbed to the deadly virus, according to data compiled by the All India Bank Employee Association (AIBEA).

"We have lost about 1,200 colleagues already. Not all banks are forthcoming in sharing the details and compensation policies for the families of those who died due to this virus," said CH Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), India's largest body of bank employees.

According to the data provided by the employee unions, in the Central Bank of India, so far 4,878 employees have been affected so far and 94 have died due to COVID. Out of the total deaths, Ahmedabad and Chennai centres have seen maximum deaths, followed by Bhopal, Pune and Delhi, according to the association. In State Bank of India (SBI) Chennai circle alone, over 2,000 employees have been infected and 11 lost lives.