Gujarat pays COVID-19 death relief to 22,000 persons through DBT
Gandhinagar, December 14, 2021
The Gujarat government on Tuesday said it has deposited Rs 50,000 as relief amount into the bank accounts of around 22,000 persons for COVID-19 deaths in their familes, as per the Supreme Court guidelines, during the pandemic period.
The Revenue Minister and the official spokesperson of the Gujarat government, Rajendra Trivedi said, "The state government has till date received over 38,000 applications for COVID-19 death relief aid and till now we have released relief money in 22,000 cases through DBT."
"Earlier, as per the definition of COVID deaths by the Gujarat government, which was according to the standards set by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 10,093 applications were received for relief. However, after a new definition of COVID deaths by the Supreme Court, the state government has received more applications," added the minister.
The Minister, whose department had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court giving details of the compensation claims, said, "The state committee here had decided not to count deaths due to heart attack or failure of other body organs to be due to Covid-19 and consider them as separate cases."
The then Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani had maintained all along that the government was not counting co-morbid patients among Covid-19 according to the ICMR guidelines.
The revenue minister added that, "The Supreme Court ordered that all deaths within 30 days of patients testing positive for Covid-19 should be considered eligible for Rs 50,000 compensation without considering anything else. This has likely caused the numbers to rise, is what I understand primarily."
Trivedi claimed Gujarat to be the first state in the country to be disbursing COVID death compensation as per the Apex Court's directive. "We are ahead of all other states in disbursing ex-gratia amount of Rs 50,000 and will ensure that the pandemic victims are paid compensation at the earliest in a simplified manner," he said.
The Opposition Congress has been claiming that 3 lakh people had succumbed to the dreaded virus and that this was borne out by district-wise death figures since March 2020.