The Union Cabinet sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ to mount an urgent response for containing the spread of the virus in India. This will be done through development of dedicated treatment facilities and setting up laboratories, among others.
The fund will be utilised in three phases. An amount of Rs 7,774 crore has been provisioned for COVID-19 Emergency Response and the rest for medium-term support, ranging from one to four years to be provided under mission-mode approach.
The key objectives of the package include mounting emergency response to slow and limit Coronavirus infection in India through development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities, centralised procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs, strengthen and build resilient national and state health systems, set up laboratories and bolster surveillance activities and pandemic research.
These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the Health Ministry. In Phase-I, the Health Ministry with the support of all the other line ministries has already undertaken several activities.
An additional Rs 3,000 crore under the package has been released to states and Union Territories for strengthening the existing health facilities as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, health centres and care centres for the disease.
A major share of the fund 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 health, community engagement and risk communications and implementation, management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation component.