Coronavirus In India: Government Announces Rs 15000 Crores ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response And Health System Preparedness Package’

As of now, 5734 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 166 deaths have been reported in the country. 473 persons have been cured/discharged after recovery. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has deputed high level multi-disciplinary Central teams to assist the States and State Health Department in activities pertaining to cluster containment plan and hospital preparedness (ICU & Ventilator management for COVID-19 patients).

Government of India (GoI) has announced significant investments to the tune of Rs.15000 crores for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’. The funds sanctioned will be utilized for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response (amount of Rs.7774 crores) and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission mode approach.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) had detailed deliberation on containment and management of COVID-19. The GoM also discussed the actions taken so far, current status of social distancing measures as a preventive strategy and the stringent actions taken by the Centre as well as the States to contain the spread of COVID-19.

NGOs and Charitable Organizations are playing important role in providing cooked food to thousands of poor and needy people during this time of nationwide lockdown. To ensure uninterrupted supply of foodgrain to these organizations, the Government has directed FCI to provide Wheat and Rice to such organizations at the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) rates, without going through the e-auction process.

The Swachhata-MoHUA App, a highly popular grievance redressal tool for citizens under the ambit of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) already has over 1.7 Crore+ urban users across the country. This app has now been modified and strengthened further in order to enable citizens to get their COVID-related complaints also redressed by their respective ULBs.

Indian Railways which started provide cooked meals to needy people after the lockdown due to COVID-19, continues to provide bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and contribution of NGOs, in keeping with its social service commitment. The food distribution is being done to the poor, destitute, beggars, children, coolies, migrant labourers, stranded persons and whoever else comes in search of food at and near the railway stations, and even at some distances away from the railway stations.

Ever since COVID-19 outbreak was declared as global pandemic, Indian Cities have been making significant efforts in sanitizing the cities, especially the public spaces which are considered risk prone areas for local spread of virus. Since the nation-wide lockdown was nnounced on 25 March 2020, Cities have been adopting numerous approaches to disinfect the public spaces including the bus/railway stations, streets, markets, hospital premises, banks, etc.

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