The Centre has released Rs 890.32 crore as the second instalment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package to 22 states and Union Territories, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The amount of financial assistance to each state and Union Territories is based on their COVID-19 caseload.
Those who received financial assistance in the second instalment include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim, the ministry said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Rs 15,000 crore package as part of the 'Whole of Government' approach wherein the Centre is leading the COVID-19 response and management, and supporting the states and UTs through technical and financial resources.
The second instalment of the aid will be used to strengthen public health infrastructure for testing, including procurement and installation of RT-PCR machines, RNA extraction kits, TrueNat and CB-NAAT machines, bolster infrastructure for treatment and development of ICU beds, installation of oxygen generators and procurement of bedside oxygen concentrators among others.
It would also be used for engagement, training and capacity building of necessary human resources and incentives to healthcare workforce and volunteers, including ASHA workers on COVID-19 duties, the health ministry said, adding that wherever necessary, volunteers registered on the COVID Warriors portal may also be engaged in coronavirus duties.
The first instalment of Rs 3,000 crore was released in April to all states and UTs to aid and enable them ramp up testing facilities, augment hospital infrastructure, conduct surveillance activities along with procurement of essential equipment, drugs and other supplies, the health ministry said.
As part of this package, states and Union territories have been strengthened with 5,80,342 isolation beds, 1,36,068 oxygen-supported beds and 31,255 ICU beds.
Also, 86,88,357 testing kits and 79,88,366 Vial Transport Media (VTM) have been procured by them. As many as 96,557 human resource has been added and incentive has been given to 6,65,799 human resources. The package has aided provision of mobility support to 11,821 staff, the ministry said.