Families of people who die by suicide within 30 days after testing positive for coronavirus will be entitled to ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday, reported Bar and Bench.
The government had announced the compensation amount for each Covid-19 death on Wednesday. The amount will be paid by the states from their respective disaster response funds, the Centre had said.
On Thursday, the Union home ministry filed an additional affidavit to address certain questions that the Supreme Court had asked on September 13 while hearing a case related to compensation for Covid-19 deaths.
In the additional affidavit, the ministry clarified that fatalities occurring within 30 days from the date of testing positive for the infection will be “treated as a Covid-19 death” even if it takes place outside the hospital or an in-patient facility.
This came after the Supreme Court on June 30 had asked the National Disaster Management Authority to frame guidelines for ex-gratia compensation within six week.
“The reasonable amount to be provided is left to wisdom of national authority,” the court had said.
The bench of Justices MR Shah AS Bopanna appreciated the Centre’s decision to offer financial aid to many families. “Today, we are very happy,” said Justice Shah during Thursday’s hearing, according to NDTV. “This has brought solace to many... This would wipe away the tears of many.”
In its affidavit, the Centre added that a death certificate issued before the Centre listed its guidelines regarding them for Covid-19 fatalities can be reviewed and rectified.
The guidelines mentioned in the affidavit were issued on September 3 and were placed on record before the Supreme Court on September 11. They said that deaths occurring within 30 days of patients testing positive for the virus will be considered Covid-19 fatalities.
To this, the court suggested that the district-level committees that will be formed to deal with grievances regarding death certificates should have direct access to hospital records to check claims of Covid-19 deaths.
The court said it would pass formal orders on the National Disaster Management Authority guidelines on October 4, reported The Hindu.