J&K administration sanctions ex gratia payment of Rs 50,000 to kin of COVID-19 victims

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has sanctioned ex gratia payment of Rs 50,000 to the dependents of COVID-19 victims and directed all deputy commissioners to set up a robust yet simple mechanism for its disbursement.

Jammu and Kashmir has recorded 4,476 Covid-related deaths -- 2,291 in Kashmir and 2,185 in Jammu -- since the pandemic began last year.

In an order issued by the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Nazim Zia Khan, secretary to Lieutenant Governor, said the implementation of the scheme would commence immediately and it will cover all residents who died due to COVID-19.

Sanction is accorded to the adoption of the scheme for granting claim to the next of kin of COVID-19 victims in pursuance of the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in compliance with the Supreme Court order, Khan said.

According to the order, the eligibility of a case under the scheme would be verified through the database created by the Health and Medical Education Department and duly certified by the designated medical authority.

"Wide publicity shall be given to the scheme by the concerned deputy commissioners (chairman of District Disaster Management Authority), Health and Medical Education Department to ensure saturation of the scheme within a period of two months," the order said.

It asked all deputy commissioners to set up a robust yet simple mechanism for the disbursement of the ex gratia assistance.

"All deputy commissioners shall issue an appropriate order for the constitution of a district-level committee (DLC) for redressal of any grievance(s) with regard to the certification of the Covid death," it added.

Khan said the committee would comprise of additional deputy commissioner of the concerned district, principal of government medical college or chief medical officer of the district and medical superintendent of the district hospital or government medical college.

The district-level grievance committee will be responsible for verifying the authenticity of the COVID-19 death as per the central government guidelines, proposing necessary remedial measures, including amending the COVID-19 death certificate, and detailing appropriate administrative resources to verify facts in accordance with the guidelines issued for Covid-related deaths.

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