AGENCIES, New Delhi: The government has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country a “notified disaster” in order to provide compensation and aid to infected people and the families of those who killed by the virus. Funds for this and other measures will be drawn from the Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of each state.
Menwhile, the number of positive Covid-19 cases in India now stands at 84, the Union health ministry informed on Saturday. More than 4,000 people who came in contact with the 84 coronavirus positive people are under surveillance.
The health ministry also said that an Air India flight will be sent to Milan on Saturday to evacuate stranded Indian students.
As per a letter from the Home Ministry, Rs 4 lakh will be given to the families of those whose deaths have been linked to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. In addition, the cost of hospitalisation for those being treated for the virus has been fixed by state governments.
Government decides to treat #CoronavirusinIndia as a notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).#CoronavirusPandemic #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/A0x0BnlQ12
— PIB India (@PIB_India) March 14, 2020
Among further measures detailed by the government are provisions for temporary accommodation and supply of food, water, clothing and medical care for patients and people in quarantine camps.
SDRF funds will also be used, the government said, to pay for additional testing centres and the cost of protective equipment for police, healthcare and municipal authorities, as well as that of thermal scanners and other necessary equipment for government hospitals.
There are now 84 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, with at least two deaths linked to the virus. A 68-year-old woman who died in Delhi on Friday night and a 76-year-old man who died in north Karnataka on Thursday had both tested positive.
Also as part of its response, the government has shut borders to existing visas — except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project — till April 15. Various states have also reacted, with Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi and other governments shutting down public spaces, closing schools and colleges and banning large gatherings such as Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.
On Saturday both Bengal and Goa announced similar measures. Also on Saturday leading IT major Infosys announced it would temporarily close a Bengaluru office and sanitise premises after a suspected COVID-19 case.