‘J&K received additional Rs 224 cr in 2 years for Covid mitigation’

‘J&K received additional Rs 224 cr in 2 years for Covid mitigation’
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Srinagar, Aug 2: J&K has received an additional Rs 224 crore from the central government to fight Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years, the union health ministry informed Lok Sabha.

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which has recorded over 3.21 lakh Covid infection cases and over 4350 deaths related to viral respiratory illness has got additional budgetary support to augment the health sector and provide quality healthcare to Covid infected patients.

As per the details shared by the Union health ministry, during 2020 when the first wave of COVID-19 spread in Jammu and Kashmir, the centre released Rs 29.69 crore to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh under National Health Mission programme towards management and containment of Covid-19 pandemic.

During the current fiscal, J&K has been allocated Rs 194.58 crore for Covid mitigation program. As per details shared by the ministry the funds have been released under Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package.

During the second wave this year the number of infection rate as well as fatalities was much higher than last year. The number of patients requiring oxygen beds too was in higher number, the government of J&K in order to augment medical oxygen supplies commissioned new oxygen plants.

Twenty six new oxygen generation plants were set up with a total capacity of 25,000 litres per minute in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir recently as part of government efforts to increase oxygen supply in hospitals.

“J&K administration has ensured liberal funding for the Covid mitigation measures, from just 1600 Covid beds the bed capacity for Covid patients was increased to 6000 beds with oxygen ports,” said a senior health department official adding that “ administration has not lowered guard and is making all efforts to ensure prevention of third wave which is being talked by many experts.”

It is important to mention here that J&K also enhanced its budgetary allocation for the health sector by 188 crore for the fiscal year 2021-22 in view of the pandemic.

"For the Health and Medical Education sector, an allocation of about Rs 1,456 crore has been made for the year 2021-22 which is Rs 188 crore more than previous year's Budget Estimates 2020-21," Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had stated in her budget speech.

“We are going to establish two Cancer Institutes at Srinagar & Jammu at a cost of Rs 120 crore each. Institute of High Altitude Medicinal Plants in J&K at Bhaderwah with an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore shall also be established," the minister had said.

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