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15k cr package to support health infrastructure

On Thursday, the Union government gave green signal to a Covid-19 package amounting INR 15,000 crore to boost health infrastructure till March 2024. The Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package will be disbursed to state governments and Union Territories in three phases — January 2020 to June 2020, July 2020 to March 2021 and from April 2021 to March 2024. Two parameters will be taken into account while distributing funds – the number of positive cases and the size of the state and the UT.

According to media reports, the Centre would release 7,774 crore for immediate use till June 2020. This money would be used to develop Covid-19 hospitals, buying personal protective equipment, setting up of laboratories, procurement of essential medical supplies, medicines and consumables for Covid-19 patients.

“With the objective of emergency response, a fund has been set up for strengthening health systems to support prevention and preparedness,” said a circular signed by Vandana Gurnani, additional secretary and director, National Health Mission.