In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Health said the central government has announced investments to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore for 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package'. "The funds sanctioned will be utilized for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response (amount of Rs 7,774 crores) and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission mode approach," the statement said.
The statement further said that the key objectives of the package would include mounting emergency response to slow and limit COVID-19 spread in India through the development of diagnostics and 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, bio-security preparedness, pandemic research and 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," it said.
"The major share of the expenditure will be used for mounting robust emergency response, strengthening National and State health systems followed by strengthening pandemic research and multi-sector national institutions and platforms for One Health, community engagement and risk communication and implementation, management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation component," it added.
As of now, a total of 223 labs comprising a network of 157 government and 66 private laboratories conduct COVID-19 screening process. The Ministry said that it has already disbursed Rs 4,113 crore to all the States and UTs for dealing with the emergency COVID response.