Muktsar, October 9
It’s strange, but true. The district administration here has given ex gratia compensation to 642 persons, with 25 applications still pending, even as the report of the authorities concerned stated that 543 persons had died of Covid in Muktsar district. The compensation given to the next of kin of the deceased from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) amounts to Rs 50,000 each.
Sources in the Health Department claimed that a committee of Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and some other officers was formed to review the applications received for the ex gratia compensation. “There were some cases in which people had the Aadhaar card of Muktsar district but were living somewhere else at the time of their death due to Covid. Besides, some people who had tested positive for Covid once but later died due to multiple reasons had also claimed compensation. Further, there are some cases, in which people have claimed compensation by just submitting the CT scan or other medical examination reports of the deceased,” they claimed.
Dr Rita Bala, CMO, Muktsar, said, “I have assumed the charge here a few months ago. If someone had tested positive for Covid and died due to it, then only his/her family can claim the compensation. However, I am not aware of any committee formed to review the cases for compensation. At my previous place of posting, no such committee was formed. There can’t be a difference of above 100 people between the total deaths reported due to Covid by the health department and the applications received or disposed of by the district administration.”
Sources in the district administration claimed that the compensation was given after receiving all documents required. A retired government doctor said the applications and all other documents were still lying with the district administration and these should be reviewed.
Meanwhile, Ruhee Dugg, Deputy Commissioner, Muktsar, said, “I will check why and how this happened.”
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