Coronavirus: MHA clarifies items and norms of assistance from SDRF

New Delhi [India], Mar 15 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified the items and norms of assistance from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic.

MHA has laid down the norms of assistance and measures for quarantine, sample collection, screening, procurement of essential equipments for response to COVID-19.

The measures for quarantine, sample collection and screening include, "provision for temporary accommodation, food, clothing, medical care etc for people affected and sheltered in quarantine camps (other than home quarantine) or for cluster containment operations. Cost of consumables for sample collection. Support for checking, screening and contact tracing."

According to the Norms of Assistance, "As per actual expenditure and as per the assessment of need by State Executive Committee (SEC) to ensure the effective containment of outbreak for a period of up to 30 days. The SEC will decide the number of quarantine camps, their duration and the number of persons in such camps. This period can be extended by the SEC beyond the prescribed limit subject to the condition that expenditure on this account should not exceed 25 percent of SDRF allocation for the year. Medical care may also be provided from National Health Mission (NHM)."

For the purpose of the procurement of essential equipments and setting up additional testing laboratories, "the expenditure is to be incurred from SDRF only as assessed by the SEC to strengthen the surveillance and control measures against COVID-19 virus outbreak."

There is also a provision for the cost of personal equipment for healthcare, municipal, police and fire authorities and the cost of thermal scanners, ventilators, air purifiers and consumables for government hospitals.

"Total expenditure on equipment should not exceed 10 percent of the annual allocation of the SDRF," it added.

The SEC has been instructed to ensure there is no duplication with reference to government schemes and it adds that any amount spent by the state for COVID-19, over and above the ceiling, would be borne out of the state government's resources and not from SDRF.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across India reached 107 (including foreign nationals), according to the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare on Sunday.

The disease which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year, has so far spread to more than 100 countries, infecting over 1,30,000 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a pandemic. (ANI)