Context:The Union Cabinet recently approved significant investments to the tune of Rs. 15,000 crore for 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package'.

About ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’

  • The funds under the package sanctioned are to be utilized in 3 Phases.
  • For immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response an amount of Rs. 7,774 Crore has been provisioned and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years).
  • Objective of the package:
    • Mounting emergency response to slow and limit COVID-19 in India through the development of diagnostics and COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities, 
    • Centralized procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for treatment of infected patients, 
    • Strengthen and build resilient National and State health systems to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreaks, 
    • Setting up of laboratories and bolster surveillance activities, 
    • Biosecurity preparedness, and Pandemic research 
    • Proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities
  • These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the overall umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Activities undertaken in Phase 1

  • Additional funds to the tune of Rs 3,000 Cr have been released under the Package to State/UTs, for strengthening of existing health facilities of COVID Dedicated Hospitals, Health Centers and Care Centers. 
  • Detailed guidelines, protocols and advisory have been issued for quarantine, isolation, testing, treatment, disease containment, decontamination, social distancing and surveillance. 
  • Hotspots have been identified and appropriate containment strategies are being implemented.
  • Diagnostics laboratories network has been expanded and our testing capacity is increasing every day. 
  • All health workers including Community Health Volunteers (ASHAs) have been covered with insurance under the “Pradhan MantriGaribKalyan Package: Insurance Scheme for Health Workers lighting COVID-19". 
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), N95 masks and ventilators, testing kits and drugs for treatment are being procured centrally.