Govt sanctions Rs 15,000 crore for COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package

Govt sanctions Rs 15,000 crore for COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, April 10, 2020

The Union Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 15,000 crore for the "India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package".

An official press release said the funds be utilized for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response (Rs 7774 crore) and the rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission mode approach.

The key objectives of the package include mounting emergency response to slow and limit COVID-19 in India through the development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities and centralized procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for treatment of infected patients.

It will be used to strengthen and build resilient national and state health systems to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreaks, setting up of laboratories and bolster surveillance activities, bio-security preparedness, pandemic research and proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities. These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the overall umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the release said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on March 24 had announced setting apart Rs. 15,000 crore for treating coronavirus patients and strengthening the medical infrastructure of the country.

This will allow for rapidly ramping up the number of coronavirus testing facilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Isolation Beds, ICU beds, ventilators and other essential equipment. Simultaneously, training of medical and paramedical manpower will also be undertaken.

The major share of the expenditure will be used for mounting robust emergency response, strengthening national and state health systems.

It will be followed by strengthening pandemic research and multi-sector national institutions and platforms for One Health, community engagement and risk communication and implementation, management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation component.

The Health & Family Welfare Ministry is authorized to re-appropriate resources among components of the package and among the various implementation agencies (National Health Mission, Central Procurement, Railways, Dept of Health Research/ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control) as per the evolving emergent situation.

The Ministry has been playing a lead role in executing the health sector response with containment and control as key response strategies. As on date, a total of 223 labs comprising a network of 157 government and 66 private laboratories are conducting rigorous screening process. The Ministry has already disbursed Rs 4113 crore to all the States and UTs for dealing with the emergency COVID response.