Government sanctions Rs 15000 crore for COVID-19 Emergency Response Package

The central government on Thursday announced significant investments to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore for the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package aimed at fighting the global pandemic.

The funds sanctioned will be utilised for immediate COVID-19 emergency response (amount of Rs 7,774 crore) and the remaining for medium-term support (1-4) years to be provided under the mission mode approach, according to government official release.

The key objectives of the package include mounting emergency response to slow and limit COVID-19 in India through the development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities, centralized procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for treatment of infected patients. 

It also aims to strengthen and build resilient national and state health systems to support prevention and preparedness for future outbreaks as well as setting up of laboratories and bolster surveillance activities, bio-security preparedness and pandemic research.

Moreover, the funds will be used to proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities.

These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The major share 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. Also, the platforms for One Health, community engagement and risk communication and implementation, management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation component, the statement said.

The Ministry has been playing a lead role in executing the health sector response with containment and control as key response strategies. As on date, a total of 223 labs comprising a network of 157 government and 66 private laboratories are conducting rigorous screening process. Furthermore, the ministry has already disbursed Rs. 4113 Crore to all the States and UTs for dealing with the emergency COVID response.