Centre approves fully funded COVID-19 emergency package for states, UTs

A circular signed by National Health Mission Director Vandana Gurnani said the 100 per cent centrally funded project will be implemented in three phases from January 2020 to March 2024.

Centre approves fully funded COVID-19 emergency package for states, UTs

New Delhi: The Centre has approved a centrally funded ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ with the objective of strengthening national and state health systems.

A circular signed by National Health Mission Director Vandana Gurnani said the 100 per cent centrally funded project will be implemented in three phases from January 2020 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 circular highlighted.

The letter addressed to additional chief secretaries Principal Secretaries/ Commissioners (Health) of all states/Union Territories in India said, "The MoHFW is releasing funds (as indicated in annexure) under the immediate response of this Package for your States/UT under the National Health Mission for implementation of phase 1 up to June 2020.’’

“The key activities to be implemented under Phase -1 includes support to states/UTs for the development of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and other hospitals, isolation blocks, negative pressure isolation rooms, ICUs with ventilators, the oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories in hospitals, hiring of additional human resources and incentives to human resource and community health volunteers,’’ the order said.

The central package will also assist the state/ UTs for the Procurement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), N95 masks and ventilators, over and above what is being procured and supplied by the Government of India.

In addition to that strengthening of identified laboratories and expansion of diagnostics, capacities will also be covered under Phase- 1. The activities under the first phase also include the disinfection of hospitals, government ambulances, etc.

The three phases of the project are Phase - 1 from January 2020 to June 2020, the second phase is from July 2020 to March 2021 and the third phase from April 2021 to March 2024.