Centre sanctions Rs 15000 crores for India’s COVID-19 response package
The COVID-19 response package will be used for strengthening the national and state health systems.
The Indian Government sanctioned Rs 15000 crore on April 9, 2020 for India’s “COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package”.
Out of the total amount, Rs 774 crore will be used for immediate COVID-19 emergency response and the rest will be kept as medium-term support for 1-4 years, to be provided under the mission mode approach.
Govt’s COVID-19 response package: Key Objective
The main objective behind sanctioning the COVID-19 response package is to fasten emergency response to limit the spread of the virus in India through:
• Development of COVID-19 diagnostics and dedicated treatment facilities
• Centralized procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs for the treatment of coronavirus patients
• Strengthening of national and state health systems to enable preparedness for future disease outbreaks
• Setting up of laboratories and bolster surveillance activities
• Bio-security preparedness
• Pandemic research
• Proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities
All the above initiatives will be implemented under the supervision of the Union Health Ministry.
Where will the fund be used?
The COVID-19 response package will be used for strengthening the national and state health systems and strengthening the pandemic research and multi-sector national institutions for risk communication, implementation, community engagement, management, monitoring and evaluation component and capacity building.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been authorised to re-appropriate resources among components of the package as well as among the various implementation agencies such as ICMR, National Health Mission, National Centre for Disease Control, Central Procurement and Railways as per the evolving situation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the healthcare package worth Rs 15000 crore in his television address to the nation on March 24, 2020. The Prime Minister had announced that the amount will be used to acquire emergency medical gear and equipment including personal protective equipment, isolation beds, ICUs and ventilators. It would also be used to increase testing facilities and training of medical and paramedical staff.
PM Modi had urged all the states to make public healthcare their top priority and urged the private companies to join the fight against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already dispursed about Rs 4113 Crore to all the States and UTs for dealing with the emergency COVID response.