Govt to pay ex-gratia for Covid-19 deaths

ITANAGAR, Nov 28: As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the union Health and Family Welfare ministry has issued simplified guidelines for issuance of death certificate and official documents stating the exact cause of death to the family members of deceased who died due to Covid-19.

Based on the said judgement, the National Disatser Management Authority (NDMA) issued guidelines for ex- gratia payment for the next of the kin of the deceased by Covid-19 under section 12(iii) of the Disaster Management Act 2005.

In pursuance of the directions and guidelines, an order issued by the Secretary Disaster Management Dani Salu on November 26 last stated that the state government has approved for grant of Rs fifty thousand from State Disaster Response Fund to the next of kin of deceased due to Covid-19 as per the laid down guidelines of the union health ministry.

Further, the  guidelines of NDMA insists that DDMA will ensure that the process of claim, verification, sanction and final disbursement of ex- gratia payment will be through a simple people friendly procedure whereas the forms for claim shall be issued by the state authority.

However, a few conditions outlined for the process are: ex-gratia may be paid to the next of kin of the deceased due to Covid-19 subject to the condition that the deceased should either be the permanent resident of Arunachal Pradesh or death due to Covid should have occurred within Arunachal Pradesh if the deceased was not a permanent resident of the state.

However, those who have already claimed the ex-eratia assistance from any other scheme either under state or centre, may not be eligible.

Also, deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as Covid-19 case will be treated as death due to Covid even if the death takes place outside the hospital/ inpatient facility. However, a Covid-19 case while admitted in the hospital and facility and who continue as the same beyond 30 days and died subsequently shall also be treated as Covid-19 death.

If the claim for cause of death is not clear, then it should be placed in the grievances redressal committee or Covid death ascertaining committee, to be chaired by the ADCs of the respective districts.

Applications shall be addressed to respective DCs and only after proper verification; the claim shall be processed and granted by DDMA. (DIPRO)

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