States to provide Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of Covid victims: Centre to SC
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the kin of those who died of Covid-19, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
It said that ex-gratia assistance will also be given to the kin of those who died of the virus due to involvement in Covid-19 relief operations or activities associated with the preparedness for dealing with the pandemic.
The ex-gratia assistance will be given subject to the cause of death being certified as Covid-19 as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICMR, the government said.
It added that the ex-gratia assistance will be provided by states from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
On September 3, the top court had expressed displeasure over the delay in the framing of guidelines for issuance of death certificates to the families of those who died of Covid-19.
The apex court had in its June 30 verdict directed the NDMA to recommend within six weeks the guidelines for ex-gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of persons who died due to Covid-19.
India’s Covid-19 deaths may be four to 11 times higher than officially reported, researchers said after pooling estimates from multiple studies.
The researchers at the University of Michigan and the Delhi School of Economics have surveyed existing studies that suggest that India had lost 1.7 million to 4.9 million people to Covid-19 till July 1, 2021, when the Centre’s count was a little over 400,000.
Their calculations are the latest among a series of independent efforts to estimate excess deaths from Covid-19 across the country using an array of research methodologies amid concerns in health circles that authorities might have vastly undercounted infections and deaths.
The Centre had earlier told the Supreme Court that the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have come out with guidelines for issuing "official document" for Covid-related deaths.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Centre also submitted that the Office of the Registrar General of India on September 3 had issued a circular to provide a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to the next of kin of the deceased.