COVID-19 declared 'notified disaster'

Updated: 15 March, 2020 08:26 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

In an updated order, which was "partially modified", there is no mention of ex-gratia relief to families of the deceased

Members of medical staff check the body temperature of travellers arriving from Nepal at the India-Nepal border on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Members of medical staff check the body temperature of travellers arriving from Nepal at the India-Nepal border on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Moments after the Central government on Saturday notified coronavirus (Covid-19) as a 'disaster' and announced that it would provide ex-gratia relief of R4 lakh to the families of the deceased, the government reissued a fresh modified order with no mention of compensation. The earlier order read, "R4 lakh for deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in response activities, subject to certification regarding the cause of death from an appropriate authority."

In the updated order, which has been "partially modified", there is no mention of any such compensation. The Ministry of Home Affairs in a letter to the states and Union Territories also stated: "Keeping in view the spread of Covid-19 in India and the declaration of it as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the Central government has decided to treat it as a notified disaster and announced to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)."

The state executive committee will decide the number of quarantine camps, their duration and the number of persons admitted to such camps. "The period can be extended by the committee beyond the prescribed limit subject to condition that expenditure on this account should not exceed 25 per cent of SDRF allocation for the year," the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs stated.

Closure orders in Goa
The Goa government has directed the closure of schools, colleges pubs, movie halls, public swimming pools, spas, boat-cruises and casinos till March 31, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Saturday. The closure will come into effect from midnight on Sunday. Malls, restaurants and hotels will, however, remain open, Sawant said, adding that the directions for closure were only meant for places where people gather in closed premises.

Lakhs screened in Bengal
Six people are in isolation in hospital while 1,977 are under home surveillance among the 2,56,682 people screened in West Bengal. No one has tested positive for the disease in the state so far, according to a health department official.

3 journos quarantined
Two journalists and a cameraman of a national news channel were quarantined in North Karnataka's Kalaburagi for interviewing the coronavirus victim's son two days ago, a top official said on Saturday. "The three media persons have been quarantined in their respective homes for having interviewed on Thursday the son of the 76-year-old man who died of the disease on Tuesday night," Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner B Sharat said.

Kerala put on alert
Though no fresh cases have been reported since Friday evening, the Kerala government on Saturday issued an all-around alert in the state. While the total positive cases continue to be pegged at 19, authorities expect a few more might turn positive in the coming days. According to the health authorities, there are 6,000 people under observation in the state, of which 300 are in various hospitals.

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First Published: 15 March, 2020 06:54 IST

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