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    India’s Mega New Plan To Tackle COVID-19 Announced

    India’s Mega New plan to tackle Covid-19 was announced today. Soon after the new cabinet of India took over the PM held meeting with his council of ministers, the ministry in focus was Health which is dealing with growing cases of variants in several states.

    The new Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the mega package to the tune of Rs 23,123 crore, designed especially to augment state governments’ existing response to the second wave, and to prepare in advance for a probable third wave.

    The new Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the mega package to the tune of Rs 23,123 crore

    In his first media briefing, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya underlined that the package focuses on augmenting infrastructure of paediatric care at the district level, increase in the number of beds in rural, peri-urban areas (outskirts), and support to districts’ creation of buffer stocks of essential medicines. “…On the basis of problems that we faced during the second wave, as well as on the basis of the ways to tackle this in future, we have designed the new second package,” Mandaviya said.

    Creation of paediatric units in all 736 districts, installation of 1,050 liquid medical oxygen storage tanks with medical gas pipeline systems that will support one unit per district, and expansion of the teleconsultation platform that will offer 5 lakh consultations per day.

    Image courtesy ministry of Health India twitter

    These are among the key components to be funded through phase-II of the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Preparedness package, the Union Cabinet announced.

    Mandaviya said that the decision on funding the new scheme was taken on the basis of detailed consultation with the states. He said: “….we know the requirement of beds, according to the demand we saw during the peak of the second-wave.

    We had a detailed consultation with the states on what should be done to ensure that in future there should not be a crisis in supply of medical oxygen. We have also created a mechanism to ensure that there is no shortage of essential medicines in future, the minister stated.

    Mandaviya said the package will focus on enhancing the IT infrastructure in pandemic response. The package will have three specific components in IT interventions; from the current 310 district hospitals, it will provide support for creation of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) in all district hospitals to give a further push for implementation of the National Digital Health Mission; it will support the expansion of National Architecture of eSanjeevani Tele-consultation platform to provide up to 5 lakh teleconsultations per day; and strengthen the central war room at the Health Ministry.

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