Treat as COVID-19 death if infected dies in hospital: HC
The Allahabad High Court on Saturday ruled that if a COVID-19 infected patient dies after being admitted to a hospital, their death shall be termed a COVID death regardless of the cause of death. The court observed that the cause of death might be a heart attack or anything else, but it should be declared death due to COVID-19.
Why does this story matter?
The court ruling came as the Centre revealed statistics on COVID-19 compensation applications and the disbursement of ex gratia in the Lok Sabha. As of May 27, a total of 7,91,353 claims had been resolved and ex gratia payments had been made. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry stated that the most prevalent causes for claim denial are duplicate applications and inadequate papers.
What did the high court rule?
The decision was made by a division bench of justices AR Masoodi and Vikram D Chauhan while hearing a plea. The court further decided that following the death of COVID-19 victims, their dependents shall be awarded an ex-gratia payment within 30 days. Furthermore, if the money could not be paid in a month, it should be paid with a 9% interest, it directed.
Court ruling a relief to COVID-19 victims' families
The court said that the COVID-19 infection can affect any organ and cause damage to it thereby leading to a patient's death. The death due to organ failure in a COVID-19 infected patient cannot be treated as a separate cause for the patient's demise, it concluded while directed the government to pay Rs 25,000 to each petitioner after it determined 30-day deadline had passed.
Government denied compensation as death not attributed to COVID-19
The petitioners had challenged clause 12 of a government order dated June 1, 2021 which defined the conditions for claiming compensation for COVID-19 deaths. The petitioner was denied compensation after the cause of death of her husband was not attributed to COVID-19. However, the court's order will bring relief to such families of COVID victims.