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Guwahati: The Assam government will provide one-time financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to families of people who have died of COVID-19, state finance minister Ajanta Neog said on Friday.

Presenting the budget for 2021-22 in the assembly, Neog claimed this is a first-of-its-kind scheme by any government in the country.

The state government had already announced the ‘Chief Minister Shishu Seva Scheme’ for children who lost their parents due to coronavirus and the ‘Chief Minister COVID-19 Widow Support Scheme’ for widows.

Under the scheme for children, an amount of Rs 3,500 will be provided per child each month.

For those below 10 years who may not have an extended family or guardian, the Assam government will take steps to house them in child care institutions and provide adequate funding towards their upkeep and education.

In the other scheme, each widow is eligible for a one-time grant of Rs 2.5 lakh.

The modalities for application and availing the benefit under the new schemes will be issued by the health department in due course, and the programmes will cost the exchequer around Rs 40 crore, the minister said.

Altogether, 4,888 deaths of adults, including 1,345 women, due to COVID-19 have been reported in the state till July 13, Neog said.

Also read | Assam Budget 2021-22: Here are the biggest winners

A total of 56 minors (less than 18 years of age) have also died due to the virus during the same period.

She said 95,770 COVID-19 patients were provided free treatment along with food worth Rs 300 per day till June this year.

“Total number of ICU beds has now been increased to 1,540, with approximately 1,099 ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients. The number of oxygen supported beds has also been hiked to 3,855,” Neog added.

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