The Centre has approved COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package aimed at boosting national and state health systems to support procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs, and strengthening of surveillance activities.
In a letter to the chief secretaries, principal secretariesand commissioners (Health) of all states and UTs, the Health Ministry said the100 per cent centrally funded package will be implemented in three phases fromJanuary 2020 to March 2024.
"The objectives of emergency COVID-19 response arestrengthening national and state health systems to support prevention andpreparedness, procurement of essential medical equipment, consumables anddrugs, strengthening of surveillance activities, including setting up oflaboratories and bio-security preparedness," the letter said.
According to the letter, the Union Health Ministry isreleasing funds for states and union territories under the National HealthMission for implementation of phase 1 up to June 2020.
"The key activities to be implemented under Phase 1include support to states and UTs fordevelopment of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, isolation blocks, ICUs withventilators oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories, hiringof additional human resources and incentives to human resource and communityhealth volunteers," the letter added.
It also includes strengthening of identified laboratoriesand expansion of diagnostic capacities and mobility support for sample transport.The ministry has also asked states and UTs to use the funds for the procurementof personal protective equipment, N-95 masks and ventilators over and abovewhat is being procured and supplied by the central government.
The activities to be undertaken also include disinfection ofhospitals, government offices, public utilities and ambulances, the lettersaid. The project will be implemented in three phases during the period January2020 to March 2024 — Phase 1 from January to June 2020, phase 2 from July toMarch 2021 and phase 3 from April 2021 to March 2024.