New Delhi: The central government on Thursday sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore for the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package aimed at fighting the global pandemic that has so far led to 169 deaths in the country.
The move came a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the country announced the decision.
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 over one to four years to be provided under the mission mode approach, said a release from the Union government.
The project will be implemented in three phases from January 2020 to March 2024 and its primary objectives include mounting emergency response to slow and limit the spread of the virus in India through the development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities, centralised 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 establish laboratories and bolster surveillance activities, bio-security preparedness and pandemic research.
The funds will also be used to proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities. These initiatives will be implemented under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The ministry so far has disbursed Rs 4,113 crore to all states and Union Territories to deal with the emergency COVID-19 response.