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Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of those who died due to COVID-19, Centre tells Supreme Court

The "ex-gratia assistance to kin of COVID-19 victims will be provided by from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)", the Centre clarified in its affidavit.

September 22, 2021 / 06:51 PM IST
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court of India

Centre, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on September 22, proposed an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 to the families of persons who died due to COVID-19.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended the Rs 50,000 compensation amount to the kin of those who died due to coronavirus infection, the government told the apex court, according to news agency PTI.

The Centre reportedly told the court that the ex-gratia amount would also be given to kin of COVID-19 victims who were involved in relief operations or activities associated with the preparedness for dealing with the pandemic.

The ex-gratia amount would, however, be disbursed to the kin of only those deceased whose death cause has been formally "certified as COVID-19", the Centre added.

The "ex-gratia assistance to kin of COVID-19 victims will be provided by from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)", the Centre clarified in its affidavit.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Also Read | Finances under severe strain, can't pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to COVID-19 victims: Centre to SC

The affidavit was filed around three months after the central government told the top court that a compensation of Rs 4 lakh, as sought by a petitioner, cannot be provided to the kin of COVID-19 victims as such a move would completely exhaust the disaster relief funds.

Notably, on September 3, the Supreme Court had expressed displeasure over delay in framing of guidelines for issuance of death certificates to the families of those who died of COVID-19.

The apex court had in its June 30 verdict directed the NDMA to recommend within six weeks the guidelines for ex-gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of persons who died due to COVID-19.

With PTI inputs

Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 22, 2021 06:30 pm

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