Home India Corner COVID-19 in India: Union Cabinet Approves Rs 15,000-Crore Investment Package

COVID-19 in India: Union Cabinet Approves Rs 15,000-Crore Investment Package

The package will be utilised in three phases focusing on building resilient National and State healthcare system for the future

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 22 approved Rs 15,000 crore as funds for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’, a government released statement said. The package will be utilised in three phases, with Rs 7,774 crore sanctioned for Emergency Response and the remaining for medium-term support for up to four years, the government statement said. According to the Cabinet, the key purpose of the package includes “mounting emergency response to slow and limit COVID-19 in India.” 

The plan will be under the oversight of the Health Ministry which would include the development of diagnostics and treatment facilities dedicated to COVID-19, centralised procurement of medicines, drugs and medical equipment to treat infected patients, setting up laboratories, preparedness for bio-security and surveillance activities, investment in pandemic research and risk communication and overall acceleration of National and State healthcare to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreak.

According to the statement, Phase one of the plan has already been implemented under the supervision of the Health Ministry with Rs 3,000 crore in additional funds being released under the Package to State and Union Territories for strengthening existing healthcare facilities. Orders for 13 lakhs diagnostic kits have been placed to increase COVID-19 testing in the country. Health workers including Community Health Volunteers (ASHAs) have been insured under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: Insurance Scheme for Health Workers lighting COVID-19.” The statement also assured that the centre is working on procurement of testing kits, drugs for treatment, N95 masks and ventilators, and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).     

According to the COVID-19 world data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as on April 23, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India is at 21,797 with 681 deaths.