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Centrally-funded package is aimed at the fight against COVID-19

 Centrally-funded package is aimed at the fight against COVID-19

Modi govt announces three-phased COVID-19 Emergency Response package for states, UTs

Central government has drawn a three-phase plan to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic. The government has released an Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package to the states to fight Covid-19. The centrally-funded package is aimed at boosting national and state health systems to support the procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs, and the strengthening of surveillance activities.

The Centre expects a long haul fight against Covid-19 pandemic. As per the communication sent to the states and UTs, the project will be implemented in three phases – Phase 1 January 202 to June 2020, Phase 2 July 2020 to March 2021 and Phase 3 April 2021 to March 2024.

“With the objectives of emergency Covid-19 response, strengthening national and state health systems to support prevention and preparedness, procurement of essential medical equipment, consumables and drugs, strengthening of surveillance activities, including setting up of laboratories and bio-security preparedness,” the letter said.

According to the letter, the Union Health Ministry is releasing funds for states and Union territories under the National Health Mission for implementation of phase 1 up to June 2020.

“The key activities to be implemented under Phase 1 include support to states and UTs for development of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, isolation blocks, ICUs with ventilators oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories, hiring of additional human resources and incentives to human resource and community health volunteers,” the letter added.

It also includes strengthening of identified laboratories and expansion of diagnostic capacities and mobility support for sample transport.

The ministry has also asked states and UTs to use the funds for the procurement of personal protective equipment, N-95 masks and ventilators over and above what is being procured and supplied by the central government.

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