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Friday, July 30, 2021

Test report, hospital record mandatory for BPL Covid-19 death compensation in Karnataka

As many as 35,040 official Covid-19 deaths were recorded in Karnataka till June 30 even as the state civil registration system recorded excess deaths to the tune of 91,328 in the January to June 15 period for the year 2021 (compared to 2020) when a severe second wave raged.

Written by Johnson TA | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 10, 2021 5:31:12 pm
COVID karnataka news A medic administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to a student during COVID-induced lockdown in Bengaluru, Monday, July 5, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Karnataka government, which has announced a compensation of Rs one lakh each to every family below the poverty line (BPL) in the state that has lost a breadwinner to Covid-19, will disburse the compensation on the basis of the availability of a Covid-19 positive test report in the name of the deceased or if they have been treated for the virus at a hospital.

The state government issued the guidelines for disbursement of the Covid-19 death compensation amounts of Rs one lakh each to BPL families – which was announced on June 14 by chief minister B S Yediyurappa – through the social welfare department on July 8.

As many as 35,040 official Covid-19 deaths were recorded in Karnataka till June 30 even as the state civil registration system recorded excess deaths to the tune of 91,328 in the January to June 15 period for the year 2021 (compared to 2020) when a severe second wave raged.

According to the guidelines, the families in which deaths occurred at homes without the patients getting a Covid-19 test done or being admitted in hospitals for Covid-like symptoms will not be eligible for the compensation.

The guidelines have used a definition of a Covid-19 death prescribed by the state technical advisory committee on Covid-19 to prescribe the eligibility for the compensation.

“The death of a person who was diagnosed COVID-19 by RT-PCR/RAT/Trunat/CB-NAAT or any other diagnostic test that is approved by the ICMR and treated in home isolation/ COVID Care Centre (CCC)/hospital (Govt. or Private); or diagnosed and treated as COVID-19 like syndrome in a hospital (Govt. or private) shall be considered to have died of COVID-19,” the government order issued on July 8 said.

To claim the compensation, beneficiaries will have to provide a “COVID-19 positive report from a recognized laboratory” which should have been uploaded in the ICMR portal. They should have a patient number and should be certified by a qualified medical practitioner.

If the victims were treated symptomatically without a RT-PCR positive report but with “clinical, radiological evidence and other laboratory values suggestive of COVID 19 cases”, then the families should provide the patient number and certification by a qualified doctor.

Funds have been allocated for the payment of the compensation under the Sandhya Suraksha or the new social security scheme of the social welfare department for the year 2021-22. The compensation will be available only for one person in every BPL family even if multiple deaths have occurred, the guideline said.

Deputy commissioners in the districts have been authorised to collect details of all Covid-19 deaths from the district health officers to identify beneficiaries and to obtain documents for compensation like identification details and bank details before informing the social welfare department.

The compensation is to be transferred directly to the beneficiaries through RTGS. The social security and pension unit of the social welfare department has been directed to disburse the compensation.

State officials said they expect a lot of disputes to arise on account of many deaths suspected to have been linked to Covid-19 not being captured in the official reporting system as Covid-19 deaths, especially home deaths with Covid-like symptoms where no testing was done.

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