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Centre Approves COVID-19 Emergency Response Package For States/UTs

Centre Approves COVID-19 Emergency Response Package For States/UTsRepresentational Image
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The Centre lent its approval under the National Health Mission to the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package to all states and Union Territories, according to a News18 report.

New Delhi: The Centre lent its approval under the National Health Mission to the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package to all states and Union Territories, according to a News18 report. The Package will be completely funded by the Centre, as part of its long-term strategy. The project will be implemented in three phases beginning from January 2020 right up to March 2024, the media network reported citing a Government Order from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The first phase of the project would run from January 2020 to June this year, while the second phase would begin in July this year and go on till March 2021. The final phase would cover April 2021 to March 2024.

The underlying objectives of the Emergency COVID-19 Response Package are long-term and comprehensive:

• To strengthen national state health systems, to support prevention and preparedness, the procurement of essential medical equipment, consumables and drugs, strengthening of surveillance activities including setting up of laboratories and bio security preparedness.

• The Health Ministry order cited by News18, further says that it is releasing funds for the first phase immediately and outlines the key activities which are to be implemented under phase 1. These include:

• Support to states and Union Territories for development of dedicated COVID Hospitals and other hospitals, isolation blocks, negative pressure and isolation rooms, ICUs with ventilators, oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories in hospitals, hiring of additional human resources and incentives to human resource and community health volunteers.

• Procurement of personal protection equipment (PPE), N-95 masks and ventilators over and above what is being procured and supplied by the government of India.

• Strengthening of identified laboratories and expansion of diagnostic capacities, including procurement of diagnostic equipment, testing kits and other mobility support for sample transport over and above what is being procured by the Centre.

• Outreach, survey and community surveillance activities including mobility, support and training, orientation of health workers and volunteers, information, education and communication apart from awareness creation activities.

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