Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to announce that the state government will bear all the last rites expenditure of those who died due to COVID-19. The Ashok Gehlot government has earmarked Rs 34.56 crores for this.
The chief minister announced that the local bodies would be the nodal agency to execute the work. The sum of Rs 34.56 has been provided to the local bodies department through the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Rajasthan govt’s plan
Under this plan, the local body like a municipal council or municipal corporation will be responsible for helping the families of those dying due to COVID-19 by providing them free ambulance services and other expenses incurred in performing the last rites. The family of the deceased will have the option to get the last rites performed in the place of their choice and the expenditure for the same will be borne by the state government.
The state government decided to provide ambulance service to the dead because of the exorbitant rates that the private vehicles carrying the dead were charging. Now the state government has fixed the rates for the ambulance as well as for private vehicles carrying COVID-infected bodies.
Massive surge in COVID cases, deaths
Rajasthan is witnessing a massive surge in COVID cases and deaths. On Monday, 84 people died in various parts of the state. According to health minister Raghu Sharma, every minute 11 new positive cases are being reported in Rajasthan. The tally of overall COVID infections touched 5.30 lakh in the state and the medical structure in the state is unable to treat such a large number of patients and the number is growing at an alarming rate.
Acute shortage of oxygen, Remdesivir and vaccines
The state is facing an acute shortage of oxygen, vaccines and injections. Ashok Gehlot rushed three senior ministers BD Kalla, Shanti Dhariwal and the health minister Raghu Sharma to Delhi to discuss with the Union government on the supply of oxygen and vaccines.
The state government has urged the Centre to provide additional 25 oxygen tankers. Some of the states have surplus oxygen tankers and the Rajasthan government has asked the Centre to divert the surplus tankers to the state.
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