The Centre has approved nearly Rs 40,000 crore for prevention of COVID-19 and ramping up health infrastructure, in addition to funds allocated under the National Health Mission. This was informed by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in Lok Sabha while replying to a written question of BJP members Dilip Saikia and Ramesh Chander Kaushik.
Rai said as informed by the health ministry, the central government has been providing required technical and financial assistance to all states and Union Territories (UTs) for strengthening their healthcare system, including management of the COVID-19 public health challenge, from time to time, and the financial assistance to states and UTs is provided under the National Health Mission (NHM).
During 2019-20, funds to the tune of Rs 1113.21 crore were released to states and UTs towards management of COVID -19, over and above their normal resource envelope under the NHM, he said.
Further, the central government has approved the ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ and Rs 15,000 crore was provided under it in April 2020 with an objective to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19.
The minister said under this package, during 2020-21, funds to the tune of Rs 8,257.88 crore were also released to states and UTs to aid management and control of COVID-19. In addition, the ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II’ has also been approved by the government for an amount of Rs 23,123 crore — with Rs 15,000 crore as central share and Rs 8,123 crore as state share — for the period July 2021 to March 2022.
It includes support to states and UTs for ramping up health infrastructure, including in rural, tribal and peri-urban areas closer to the community, providing support for procurement of drugs and diagnostics to enhance service delivery at district and sub-district levels for management of COVID-19 cases, including paediatric care.
It also gives support for maintaining a buffer of drugs, IT Interventions such as implementation of hospital management information system and expanding access tele-consultations in all districts, and capacity building and training for all aspects of management of COVID-19.