The Tripura government has released Rs 3.84 crore for the eight district magistrates to start handing compensation to families who have lost a loved one to Covid-19. The grant is part of a state scheme that will be in effect till December 31. However, the disbursal of funds hasn’t started as yet as applications for compensation are still being submitted.
In May, the BJP-ruled government revised the compensation package for Covid deaths from Rs 4 lakh, as was initially announced, to Rs 10 lakh. The revision came in the face of a significant spike in Covid cases in the state during the third phase of lockdown. Though the state hadn’t reported any fatalities at the time, the government announced tests for all frontline medical staff.
Announcing the revised compensation package, Chief Minister Biplab Deb had assured a sum of Rs 10 lakh each in the event of death of any frontline worker – doctors, nursing staff, health workers, paramedics, police personnel, journalists, sweepers, ICP staff, ASHA workers and those associated with the civil administration and line departments, as well as common citizens.
Deb said the previously announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh would be released from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and remaining Rs 6 lakh would be sourced from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
However, speaking to reporters in the state capital, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said his government was recently informed by the National Disaster Management authority that it wouldn’t be possible to allocate Rs 4 lakh as relief from SDRF funds.
However, he assured that his government will live up to its promise.
“We have been informed by central authorities that there is no guideline to pay Rs 4 lakh as compensation from SDRF funds. We have taken up the issue with them and the CM has written to them as well. If they still come back with a negative response, we will allocate the promised amount from the state budget,” Nath said.
According to the latest report from the state’s Covid-19 control room, as many as 375 lives have been lost to the pandemic till date. According to guidelines laid down by the government, the next-of-kin of those dying of Covid-19 would have to submit relevant documents at the district magistrate’s office to claim compensation.
The compensation would be paid in three instalments – Rs 3 lakh each in the first two and Rs 4 lakh in the final tranche – after examining all documents and ascertaining the cause of death.
In a piece of good news on the Covid front, the law minister said the state has recorded a recovery rate of 97.84 percent, more than the national average of 95.11 percent. He added that Tripura is currently trailing only five states in terms of Covid recovery.
The minister further said that the state’s mortality rate of 1.13 percent, while being one of the highest for Northeast states, is comfortably below the national average of 1.45 percent. Tripura has a positivity rate of 5.94 percent, lower than the national average of 6.37 percent, the minister informed.
The government has reduced the number of Covid beds from 2,812 during the peak phase to 457, citing fewer patients.
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