Odisha announces ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 for each COVID-19 death

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Tuesday said as directed by the Supreme Court, it will provide financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to the kin of each of those who died of COVID-19.

This was informed by the chief of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Prof C B K Mohanty here.

The amount will be paid from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), according to norms.

To implement the order of the Apex Court, the Odisha government will issue a special standard operating procedure (SOP), Mohanty said.

The coastal state till September 28, 2021, has reported 8,187 COVID-19 deaths besides 53 fatalities in which the coronavirus patients had different comorbidities.

For re-audit of coronavirus-related deaths, a district-level committee will be formed very soon, he said.

Apart from this, the next of kin of any COVID-19 patient, who died by suicide, and those who died in accidents, are also entitled to financial assistance, he said.

Earlier the Centre in an affidavit filed before with the Supreme Court had said the funds will be paid by the state governments, sourced from their respective disaster response funds, and will be channelised through the Disaster Management Authority or the district administrations.

The families concerned will submit their claims through a form issued by the state authorities along with specified documents, including those certifying the cause of death as COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs in a letter to the Chief Secretary, said: Rs 50,000 per deceased person, including those involved in relief operations or associated with preparedness activities, subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19 as per the guidelines jointly issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MH&FW) and Indian Council of Medical Research on 3rd September 2021 should be paid.

The expenditure on this item will be incurred from SDRF only, in strict compliance with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines dated September 11, it said.

The ex-gratia assistance will be applicable from the date of the first COVID-19 case reported in the country and will continue till de-notification of COVID-19 as a disaster or till further order, whichever is earlier, the letter said.