Cabinet okays Rs 23,123-crore COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package Phase II
(L-R) Union Ministers Anurag Singh Thakur, Narendra Singh Tomar and Mansukh Mandaviya at a press conference on Cabinet decisions, in New Delhi on July 8, 2021.

Cabinet okays Rs 23,123-crore COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package Phase II

New Delh, July 9, 2021

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II amounting to Rs 23,123 crore for FY 2021-22.

The scheme aims to accelerate health system preparedness for immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management, with the focus on health infrastructure development including paediatric care and with measurable outcomes.

The Phase-II of the Package has Central Sector (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) components. Under the Central Sector components, support would be provided to Central Hospitals, AIIMS, and other Institutions of National Importance, an official press release said.

The institutes are VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, LHMC & SSKH, Delhi, RML, Delhi, RIMS, Imphal and NEIGRIMS, Shillong, PGIMER, Chandigarh, JIPMER, Puducherry and AIIMS Delhi and new AIIMSs under PMSSY. At these institutes, 6,688 beds will be repurposed for COVID management.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be strengthened by providing Genome Sequencing machines, besides sanctioning Scientific Control room, Epidemic Intelligence Services (EIS) and INSACOG Secretariat support.

Support would be provided for the implementation of the Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) in all the District Hospitals. At present, it is implemented only in 310 DHs.

All district hospitals would implement HMIS through the NIC-developed E-Hospital and CDAC developed E-Shushrut software. This will be the biggest impetus for the implementation of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) at the DHs. It includes the support provided to the District Hospitals towards augmentation of the hardware capacity.

Support would also be provided for expanding the National Architecture of eSanjeevani Tele-consultation platform to provide up to 5 lakh teleconsultations per day from the present 50,000. This includes support to the States/UTs to enable teleconsultations with the COVID patients at the COVID Care Centres (CCCs) by strengthening the hubs for eSanjeevani teleconsultation in all the districts.

Support would also be provided for IT interventions, including strengthening the Central War room at DoHFW, strengthening the COVID-19 Portal, 1075 COVID helplines and COWIN platform.

Under the CSS components, the efforts are aimed at strengthening district and sub-district capacity for an effective and rapid response to the pandemic. States/UTs would be supported to create Paediatric units in all 736 districts and also to establish Paediatric Centre of Excellence (PaediatricCoE) in each State/UT, (either in Medical Colleges, State Govt. Hospitals or Central Hospitals such as AIIMS, INIs, etc) for providing Tele-ICU services, mentoring and technical hand-holding to the District Paediatric units.

Around 20,000 ICU beds in the public healthcare system would be augmented out of which 20% will be Pediatric ICU beds. Steps would be taken to provide closer care to the community due to the ingress of COVID-19 in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas by creating pre-fabricated structures for adding additional beds at the existing CHCs, PHCs and SHCs (6-20 bedded units). Support would also be provided to establish bigger field hospitals (50-100 bedded units) depending on the needs at tier-II or Tier-III cities and district HQs.

Around 1050 Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks with Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS) will be installed to support at least one such unit per district. The existing ambulance fleet would be augmented with the addition of 8,800 under the package.

Undergraduate and postgraduate medical interns and final year MMBS, BSc, & GNM nursing students would be deployed for effective COVID management.

As “Test, Isolate and Treat” and following-up COVID Appropriate Behaviour at all times is the national strategy for effective COVID-19, support is provided to the States to maintain at least 21.5 lakh per day.

Flexible support will be provided to the Districts for meeting the requirement of essential medicines for COVID-19 management, including the creation of buffer stock.

India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project: Phase-II will be implemented at a total cost of Rs 23,123 Crore from July 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. The Central share of ECRP-II will be Rs 15,000 crore and the state share is Rs 8,123 crore.

With the focus on immediate needs for the next nine months of FY 21-22, support will be provided to Central government hospitals/agencies and to State/UT Governments to augment their existing response to the second wave and the evolving pandemic, including at district and sub-district levels in peripheral facilities.

In March 2020 last year, when the country was faced with the first wave of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Prime Minister had announced a Central Sector Scheme of Rs 15,000 crore for the India COVID 19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package, providing a critical impetus to the efforts of MoHFW and States/UTs, and catalysing health systems activities for pandemic management, the press release said.

Since mid-February 2021, the country is experiencing a second wave with spread into rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, the release noted.


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