NEW DELHI: Complying with a Supreme Court order, the Union health ministry has rushed teams to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala for random scrutiny of claims filed for Covid-19 ex gratia compensation.
The teams will examine on-field implementation of the ex gratia being paid as per the directions of the Supreme Court and guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority. They will conduct random scrutiny of 5 per cent of applications for payment of ex gratia assistance.
The central teams will also ascertain the process followed for payment, examine details of cases approved or rejected and documents verified by the district authorities. The court had on March 24 emphasised that making a false claim and/or producing a false certificate to avail of the compensation is liable for punishment under Section 52 of Disaster Management Act, 2005. State officials will assist the central teams. Under the ex gratia scheme, families of people, who died due to Covid-19 are entitled to Rs 50,000.
‘WHO order routine’
Professor Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) suspension of Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin is a “routine” matter and that its manufacturer Bharat Biotech is improving its facilities. “(It is a) routine thing that (has) happened. Inspection of the facilities is a routine,” Bhargava said at an event on Thursday.