A day after the induction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Cabinet, an emergency response package worth ₹ 23,123 crore to tackle the coronavirus pandemic was announced on Thursday. The decision came after the first meeting of the PM with his council of ministers.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in his first briefing as Union health minister announced that the Centre and states would contribute Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 8,000 crore respectively to the emergency response package. “Centre and state to implement Covid package together,” Mandaviya said. In one of its-first-kind, a provision has been made for telemedicine / teleconsultation.
“The first Covid package was delivered in April 2020. But, this package has been brought in the wake of the second wave,” he added.
As a part of its preparedness plan for the possible third wave of coronavirus pandemic, the Centre is planning to set up 8,338 Covid-dedicated health Centres.
Keeping in mind the oxygen deficit and shortage of ICU beds, which hit the country in the second wave of coronavirus, the Centre on Thursday announced the addition of 8,338 Covid-dedicated health Centres and 4,17,396 oxygen-supported beds. “8,338 Covid-dedicated health Centres, 4,17,396 oxygen supported beds, 20,000 new ICU beds will be added,” the Health minister said.
The Centre has also announced a package to help prevent the shortage of critical medicines.
Mandaviya also said that the impact of Covid on kids was also discussed. “Provision for creation of pediatric units in 736 districts has been made. The special package will include provision for making field hospitals for adults and children both.”