Cabinet clears ₹23,123-cr Covid relief package

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2021

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar flanked by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya (right) and Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur, addressing a press conference on Cabinet decisions, in New Delhi   -  PTI

Funds will be usedto set up health infra centres

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the additional ₹23,123-crore Covid relief package, which was announced in June by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman. This “Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package” will be allocated to the States in consultation with them, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said at a press briefing here.

Of this total fund, ₹15,000 crore will the Centre’s contribution and the balance ₹8,123 crore will have to be borne by the States.

According to the government, this fund will be used to set up paediatric care centres in 736 districts, provide 20,000 ICU beds to deal with the pandemic, install liquid medical oxygen tanks of 10,000 litres in all districts and augment the existing fleet of ambulances.

“We are trying to ensure that co-operation is given to the States to deal with the Covid situation. Nine months for the implementation of the relief package is the maximum time limit. We will try to execute in the shortest possible time,” Mandaviya said, while responding to the media query on the impending third wave and the long duration of nine months.

Initial allocation

Meanwhile, Mandaviya also said the government’s initial allocation of ₹15,000 crore to fight Covid helped boost the number of Covid dedicated hospitals from 163 to 4,389. In category 2, 8,038 health centres and over 10,000 dedicated Covid-care centres have been set up and beds with oxygen support have increased to 4,17,396 from around 50,000 during pre-Covid times.

Published on July 08, 2021

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