National

₹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

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.