A health worker wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suit comforts a child infected with Covid-19 coronavirus inside a ward at the Commonwealth games (CWG) village sports complex, temporarily converted into Covid-19 coronavirus care centre, in New Delhi. (Photo: AFP)
New Delhi: Families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19 in Delhi will get a one-time ex gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 from the Delhi Disaster Response Fund (DDRF), in addition to the financial aid of an equal amount being provided by the city government, officials said.
Senior government officials said on Wednesday that directions have been issued to district magistrates to disburse ex gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 out of the DDRF to such families and a public notice in this regard is expected to be issued on the weekend.
Around 21,000 such families have received financial assistance of Rs 50,000 under the Delhi government's 'Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana' scheme. Now, they will also receive an ex gratia of Rs 50,000 out of the DDRF, a senior official said.
"Applicants are required to apply directly to the concerned district magistrate in GNCT of Delhi for COVID-19 death related ex gratia assistance and District Disaster Management Authority/district administration will release fund directly to beneficiary in accordance to guidelines," the DDMA said in an order.
"Ex gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 from DDRF will be released without calling of any fresh application in respect of all those cases where compensation of Rs 50,000 has been released by the districts under the Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojna," it stated.
All districts have been directed to maintain a separate database in respect of ex gratia assistance released from the DDRF. A separate window under the e-district portal will be made available for this purpose, the order said.
In September, the National Disaster Management Authority had issued guidelines for ex gratia assistance to the next of kin of Covid victims which read: "The authority recommends an amount of Rs 50,000 per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities, subject to cause of death being certified as COVID-19."
"The ex gratia assistance shall be provided by states from the State Disaster Response Fund," it had said.
A senior official said, "Families that have already received aid under the Delhi government scheme will not have to apply for the ex gratia out of the DDRF separately. We have their details, and they will be immediately provided the financial assistance in their bank accounts or whatever mode they had opted for the aid under the scheme."
Families that have not yet availed the assistance under the scheme can apply on the e-District Delhi portal, and their application will be automatically submitted for the DDRF aid too, he said.
According to the guidelines issued by the DDMA for disbursal of the DDRF aid, the deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as a COVID-19 case will be treated as "deaths due to COVID-19", even if it takes place outside the hospital/in-patient facility.
"The patient who was admitted in the hospital/in-patient facility and who continued to be admitted beyond 30 days and died subsequently of COVID-19 shall also be treated as a COVID-19 death," the guidelines stated.
"COVID-19 patients who have died either in the hospital settings or at home, and where a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death in Form 4 and 4A has been issued to the registering authority, as required under Section 10 of the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969, shall also be treated as COVID-19 death and shall be eligible," they said.
Also, kin of patients who committed suicide within 30 days from being diagnosed as Covid-positive will also be eligible for the financial help of Rs 50,000.
The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) was constituted by states under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The Centre contributes 75 per cent of SDRF allocation for general category of states and 90 per cent for special category states, including the northeastern states, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the 'Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana' notified in June last year, the Social Welfare Department of the Delhi government is also providing a monthly assistance of Rs 2,500 to households that have lost their sole breadwinner and to children orphaned due to the pandemic.