Cabinet approves Rs 23,123 cr India COVID-19 Emergency Response package

·4-min read
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

New Delhi [India], July 8 (ANI): The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a new scheme 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II' amounting to Rs 23,123 crore for FY 2021-22.

The scheme aims to accelerate health system preparedness for immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management, with the focus on health infrastructure development including for paediatric care and with measurable outcomes, read a release by the Cabinet.

The Phase-II of the Package has Central Sector (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) components.

Under the Central Sector components, the release said, support would be provided to Central Hospitals, AIIMS, and other institutions of national importance under DoHFW (at VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, LHMC & SSKH, Delhi, RML, Delhi, RIMS, Imphal and NEIGRIMS, Shillong, PGIMER, Chandigarh, JIPMER, Puducherry and AIIMS Delhi (existing AIIMSs) and new AIIMSs under PMSSY) for repurposing 6,688 beds for COVID-19 management.

Besides this, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be strengthened by providing Genome Sequencing machines, besides sanctioning scientific control room, Epidemic Intelligence Services (EIS) and INSACOG Secretariat support.

"Under the Central Sector components, support would be provided for implementation of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) in all the District Hospitals of the Country (presently, it is implemented only in 310 DHs). All district hospitals would implement HMIS through NIC developed E-Hospital and CDAC developed E-Shushrutsoftwares. This will be the biggest impetus for the implementation of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) at the DHs. This support includes the support provided to the District Hospitals towards augmentation of the hardware capacity," the release said.

"Support would also be provided for expanding the National Architecture of eSanjeevani Tele-consultation platform to provide upto 5 lakhs teleconsultations per day from the present 50,000 teleconsultations per day. This includes support to the States/UTs to enable teleconsultations with the COVID patients at the COVID Care Centres (CCCs) by strengthening hubs for eSanjeevani teleconsultation in all the districts of the country," it said.

The fund will also be used to support IT interventions, including strengthening the Central War room at DoHFW, strengthening the country's COVID-19 Portal, 1075 COVID helplines and COWIN platform.

India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project: Phase-II would be implemented at a total cost of Rs 23,123 Crore, from July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, with the Central Share of Rs 15,000 crore and state share of Rs 8,123 crore.

Under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) components, States/UTs would be supported to create paediatric units in all 736 districts and also, to establish Paediatric Centre of Excellence (PaediatricCoE) in each State/UT, (either in Medical Colleges, State Government Hospitals or Central Hospitals such as AIIMS, INIs, etc) for providing Tele-ICU services, mentoring and technical hand-holding to the District Paediatric units.

The fund will be used to support States/UTs to augment 20,000 ICU beds in public healthcare system out of which 20 per cent will be paediatric ICU beds.

It will be utilised to provide care closer to the community due to the ingress of COVID-19 in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, by creating pre-fabricated structures for adding additional beds at the existing CHCs, PHCs and SHCs (6-20 bedded units) and support would also be provided to establish bigger field hospitals (50-100 bedded units) depending on the needs at Tier-II or Tier-III cities and district HQs.

The fund will support installation of 1,050 numbers of Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks with Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS), with an aim to support at least one such unit per district and to help districts meeting the requirement of essential medicines for COVID-19 management, including creation of buffer stock.

Augment the existing feet of ambulances: 8,800 ambulances will be added under the package.

In March 2020 last year, when the country was faced with the first wave of the COVID 19 pandemic, the PM announced a Central Sector Scheme of Rs 15,000 crore for the "India COVID 19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package", providing a critical impetus to the efforts of MoHFW and States/UTs, and catalysing health systems activities for pandemic management.

Since mid-February 2021, the country is experiencing a second wave with spread into rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, read the release. (ANI)

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