New Delhi, August 6 (IANS) The Central Government on Thursday released Rs 890.32 crore as the second instalment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package to 22 states and union territories.
The financial assistance is based on the COVID-19 caseload in these regions.
The second instalment will be used for strengthening the public health facilities infrastructure for testing including procurement and installation of RT-PCR machines, RNA extraction kits, TRUNAT and CBNAAT machines and BSL-II cabinets.
The states which were given financial assistance include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim.
The aid will also be used to strengthen the public health facilities infrastructure for treatment and development of ICU beds, installation of oxygen generators, cryogenic oxygen tanks and medical gas pipelines in public health facilities and procurement of oxygen concentrators, and engagement, training and capacity building of necessary Human Resources and incentives to healthcare workforce and volunteers, including ASHAs, on COVID duties.
The first instalment of Rs 3,000 crore was released in April to all states and union territories to aid and enable them to ramp up testing facilities, augment hospital infrastructure, conduct surveillance activities along with procurement of essential equipment, drugs, and other supplies.
In his address to the nation on March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Rs 15 thousand crore have been provisioned for treating coronavirus patients and strengthening the medical infrastructure of the country.
"This will allow for rapidly ramping up the number of Corona testing facilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), isolation Beds, ICU beds, ventilators, and other essential equipment. Simultaneously, training of medical and paramedical manpower will also be undertaken," the Prime Minister had said.
As part of this package, states and union territories have been strengthened with 5,80,342 isolation beds, 1,36,068 oxygen supported beds and 31,255 ICU beds. Also, 86,88,357 testing kits and 79,88,366 Vial Transport Media (VTM) have been procured by them.