₹15,000 crore sanctioned for States to combat Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 09, 2020 Published on April 09, 2020

The Centre has announced a 15,000 crore ‘India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ to help States tackle the coronavirus oubreak.

Up to 7,774 crore will be utilised for an immediate Covid-19 emergency response. The rest will be for medium-term support between a year to four years and will be provided in mission mode.

The Centre has said that the Health Ministry will oversee the interventions to be carried out through this fund, including development of diagnostics and Covid-19-dedicated treatment facilities; centralised procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for the treatment of infected patients; and bolstering of surveillance, bio-security preparedness and pandemic research.

Kerala’s proposal

The Health Ministry said it has already disbursed ₹4,113 crore to all the States and UTs.

Kerala has proposed to adopt convalescent plasma therapy among Covid-19 infected patients. The therapy involves transfusing blood plasma from patients cured of Covid-19 into the blood stream of those infected, to understand if infected patients build immunity to beat the disease through the therapy.

Manoj Murhekar, Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, said that the clinical trial protocol was in its final stages of approval in ICMR and then by the Drug Controller General of India.

“In other countries, the therapy has been useful in limited trials in severe patients on ventilators, and Kerala will be given sanctions to move ahead after necessary approvals are in place,” he said.

India has tested 1.3 lakh samples till date, and the positivity rate has hovered around 3-5 per cent. Up to 13,143 samples were tested on April 9, the ICMR has stated.

Meanwhile, briefing presspersons on the spread of the pandemic in the country, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “Over 540 new cases were recorded till 4 pm (on Thursday), and 17 new deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours.”

Published on April 09, 2020

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