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Cabinet announces Rs 23K cr package to fight Covid

IANS | July 08, 2021 08:30 PM

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday announced a Rs 23, 000 crore second emergency Covid package to improve the facilities in the health sector across the country, which will be used by both the Central and state governments to deal with the issues facing the country with regard to the second wave of the pandemic.

The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, a day after a major reshuffle in the Union Cabinet.

Addressing a press conference here, newly-appointed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said: "Rs 23, 000 crore package to be given to deal with the problems that occurred in the second wave of Covid-19. The package will be used jointly by the Central and state governments."

He said the Centre will share Rs 15, 000 crore while the state governments will share Rs 8, 000 crore of the said package.

"We have to collectively fight the Covid pandemic. The limitation period is maximum nine months. We have to get it done quickly, " he said.

"Our duty is to help the states in every possible way, " Mandaviya added.

The Health Minister said that the package includes works like what should be done to ensure supply of critical medicines, oxygen supply and to stop the spread of Covid among children in the future.

Mandaviya said the package aims to increase 2.44 lakh beds in community and primary health centres across all states, to construct paediatric care units in 736 districts across the country, amd to build an additional 20, 000 ICU beds.

He also said that through this package, the government aims to install 10, 000 litre storage capacity for oxygen in the next nine months in every districts to overcome oxygen shortage.

"This emergency package is designed to deal with the Covid surge, which will be implemented in nine months, " the Health Minister said.

He also said that in April last year, the government had announced the first emergency Covid package of Rs 15, 000 crore, which was utilised well and showed good results.

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