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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.