Should government compensate families for covid deaths?

The Supreme Court has directed the National Disaster Management Authority to recommend guidelines for ex gratia to family members of those who have died of Covid-19. The guidelines have to come by mid-August.

The directive has led to a debate on whether the government should really compensate for covid deaths. A lot of deaths have happened due to the personal negligence exhibited by people. If someone goes out in the open without masking up, should the kin of such a person be paid compensation by the government from the taxpayers’ money? Scientist and commentator Anand Ranganathan feels that the directive by the apex court will open Pandora’s box. “How is the government to blame for death due to an infectious disease?

On the other hand, there is a view that the government has to be held accountable for a lot of sins. “Should be blamed for poor health infrastructure, not closing down airports early from all countries, allowing all kinds of super-spreader events from farm protests to poll rallies, resuming flights early (variants imported), not enforcing Covid protocols, slacking on test-trace, etc etc,” writes Arihant Pawariya, a columnist.

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