Over 5,000 kin of Covid-19 victims yet to get compensation in Odisha: RTI query reveals

Bhubaneswar: At least 25,032 persons died of Covid-19 in Odisha since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the State and 20,396 families of such patients were handed over ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 each.

This was revealed by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in his written reply (vide letter No-6077/, dated 22.11.2023) to a Right to Information (RTI) application of activist Hemant Kumar Panda, a source said today.

Khurda district recorded the highest fatalities of 5,986 and Deogarh district registered the minimum number of 74 deaths due to the viral infection. Cuttack district was in second place with 3,468 deaths, followed by Sundargarh (1,941), Ganjam (1,772), Sambalpur (1,468), Bargarh (858), Puri (784), Balasore (768), Angul (721), Mayurbhanj (647), Jajpur (645), Bolangir (586), Kalahandi (524) and Keonjhar (524). The remaining districts of Odisha registered Covid deaths below 500, the letter said.

However, 21,175 families of the Covid deceased had applied for the ex-gratia money, and around 3,857 such families had not applied for it, the SRC’s reply mentioned.

Interestingly, ex-gratia was given to more families than the total number of Covid deaths in some of the districts and vice versa in some others. Covid deaths mentioned in Kendrapara district is 295, and on the contrary to this, ex-gratia was handed over to the next of kin of 520 patients.

Ex-gratia was given to more families in Angul, Bolangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Nayagarh and Puri. As against this, ex-gratia was given to fewer families in Cuttack, Khurda, Boudh, Ganjam, Sambalpur, Koraput and Malkangiri.

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