New Delhi, Apr 9: A whopping Rs 15,000 crore package for 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package' will be set up soon and the funds sanctioned utilised for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response (amount of Rs 7,774 crore) and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission mode approach.
The key aim of the package, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, includes mounting emergency response to halt the Coronavirus outbreak in India through the development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities, centralised procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for treatment of infected patients, strengthening and building resilient national and State health systems to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreaks, an official release here said. Also, the package, will under the overall umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, look at setting up of laboratories and bolstering surveillance activities, bio-security preparedness, pandemic research and proactively engaging communities and conducting risk communication activities.
A major chunk of the expenditure will be used for mounting robust emergency response, strengthening National and State health systems 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 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is authorised 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.
Prime Minister NarendraModi in his address to the nation on March 24 highlighted that "The Central Government has provisioned 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 Corona 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. I have requested the State Governments to ensure that only healthcare is treated as their first and topmost priority now." (UNI)