The Center has released Rs8,000 crore so far to all states in two installations to ramp up their healthcare infrastructure under the second phase for the Covid emergency response and health system preparedness package, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pawar said on Friday. Pawar told TOI that of the total package amount of Rs23,000 crore, the union government‘s contribution will be Rs15,000 crore and the states will chip in with the remaining money. She said the Center has already released over 50% of its share, so that the states could start working to enhance their medical infrastructure to deal with Covid cases in case of a pandemic third wave. Ranjan Dasgupta reports.
‘Centre released 8k cr to states in 2 installations’
Nashik: The Center has so far released Rs8,000 crore to all states in two installations to ramp up their healthcare infrastructure, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pawar said on Friday.
Pawar told TOI that the funds were provided to the states under the ‘India Covid-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II’, which the Union cabinet had approved on July 8.
Of the total amount of Rs23,000 crore, the Union government’s contribution is Rs15,000 crore and the states will chip in with the remaining amount.
“The Center has already released over 50% of its share, so that the states start working to enhance its medical infrastructure to deal with Covid cases in case there is a third wave of the pandemic,” she said.
The minister said the Union government has so far issued nearly 150 SOPs to the states after the Covid pandemic unfolded in the country. “However, there are instances where some states are not adhering to these Covid-related SOPs. We appeal to the states to adhere to the SOPs strictly,” she said.
Citing an example about alleged violation of SOPs, she said the Center has made it clear that all states must conduct RT-PCR test of patients having symptoms like fever. “Unfortunately, in my own parliamentary constituency, Dindori in Nashik, district there were instances of Rapid Antigen Test being conducted on such patients, which turned out to be false negative. Any violation of the Centre’s SOPs on the Covid front is worrisome,” she said.
On the Covid vaccination issue, Pawar said the Center has been ramping up the vaccine supply to all states constantly. “When the vaccination program started, the daily production was around 2.5 lakh per day. It has now increased to over 40 lakh a day. The numbers will further swell,” she said.
She said her ministry informed the states 15 days in prior about the supply of vaccine and the latter should plan accordingly about their inoculation program at the session sites.
In the meantime, Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Friday said in Pune that the state overnment has instructed the Police officials to convince the local groups to cooperate with the government on the upcoming festivals including Dahi Handi and Ganesh Chaturthi.