Virus compensation claims in India far exceed official death toll
The Straits Times|January 29, 2022
Crematoriums overflowing with bodies, corpses buried along the banks of the Ganges – these were tell-tale signs of Covid-19 mortality far exceeding Indian government estimates during the devastating second wave last year.
Debarshi Dasgupta

India now has another indication of why its fatality count is off the mark.

Data presented to the Supreme Court by the government shows that as at Jan 16, state-level authorities had received more than 620,000 compensation claims for Covid-19 deaths against the official death toll of 466,757.

The variance was particularly stark for some states.

Telangana, which reported only 3,993 deaths, had received 28,969 claims and approved 15,270. Gujarat, with 10,094 deaths, sanctioned as many as 68,370 claims from the 89,633 it received.

Last October, the court, while hearing various pleas seeking compensation, ruled that 50,000 rupees (S$900) be paid to family members of Covid-19 victims, on top of any other compensation.

The court clarified that this payment should not be denied even if the death certificate did not include Covid-19 as a cause.

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