Coronavirus to be treated as 'notified disaster', Rs 4 lakh for families of deceased

This is to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund, the Centre said

INDIA-HEALTH-VIRUS A man wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus arrives at a train station in Mumbai | AFP

The coronavirus outbreak will be treated as 'notified disaster', the Centre informed on Saturday. This is to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

Under the norms of assistance under the SDRF, Rs 4 lakh each will be provided as relief to families of the deceased, including those involved in response activities and relief operations.

A day after the government confirmed the first coronavirus-related death of a 76-year-old man in Karnataka, another death was reported in west Delhi on Friday. The patient was a 68-year-old woman and the mother of a COVID 19-infected patient. The death was caused due to co-morbidity (diabetes and hypertension), the Union health ministry said, adding she had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The total count of confirmed cases of coronavirus in India is now at 83. Of the total number of confirmed cases, 66 are Indians and rest are foreign nationals, as per the Health Ministry. The government on Friday declared face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities for the next 100 days as it stepped up efforts to boost supply and prevent hoarding of these items in its fight to check spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Centre has also invoked Disaster Management Act to ensure price regulation and availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves.

Taking preventive measures, many states have shut down school, colleges and cinema halls till March 31 to contain the outbreak. India also suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of the disease. The government also "strongly advised" Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The Centre, on Thursday, also decided to invoke Epidemic Act 1897, an act to provide for prevention of the spread of “dangerous epidemic diseases,” to combat novel coronavirus in India.

-with PTI inputs

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