Govt notifies Covid-19 as disaster; announces Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia for deaths
The Centre said on Saturday it will treat Covid-19 as a notified disaster to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and pay an ex-gratia for all coronavirus deaths.
“The Central Government keeping in view the spread of Covid-19 virus in India and the declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), by way of a special one-time dispensation, has decided to treat it as a notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under SDRF,” the Union home ministry said in a letter to the chief secretaries of all states.
It also said announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh to families of those who die of coronavirus, including those involved in relief operations.
“Rs 4 lakh per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in response activities, subject to certification regarding cause of death from appropriate authority,” the letter said.
India has reported two deaths due to coronavirus and more than 80 people have tested positive for the virus so far.
Several states have shut down educational institutions, malls and movie halls across many cities as precautionary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Although there has been a spurt in positive cases in India over the past week, the infection has so far has been mild. Apart from two patients admitted in Jaipur, the rest did not require the anti-HIV/Aids drug that has been permitted under ‘restricted use’ to manage unstable Covid-19 cases.