The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved a new scheme ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II’ amounting to Rs. 23,123 crore for FY 2021-22. This scheme aims to accelerate health system preparedness for immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management, with the focus on health infrastructure development including for Paediatric Care and with measurable outcomes.
The Phase-II of the Package has Central Sector (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) components.
Under the Central Sector components,
- Support would be provided to Central Hospitals, AIIMS, and other Institutions of National Importance under DoHFW (at VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, LHMC & SSKH, Delhi, RML, Delhi, RIMS, Imphal and NEIGRIMS, Shillong, PGIMER, Chandigarh, JIPMER, Puducherry and AIIMS Delhi (existing AIIMSs) and new AIIMSs under PMSSY) for repurposing 6,688 beds for COVID management.
- National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be strengthened by providing Genome Sequencing machines, besides sanctioning Scientific Control room, Epidemic Intelligence Services (EIS) and INSACOG Secretariat support.
- Support would be provided for implementation of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) in all the District Hospitals of the Country (presently, it is implemented only in 310 DHs). All district –hospitals would implement HMIS through NIC developed E-Hospital and CDAC developed E-Shushrutsoftwares. This will be the biggest impetus for implementation of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) at the DHs. This support includes the support provided to the District Hospitals towards augmentation of the hardware capacity.
- Support would also be provided for expanding the National Architecture of eSanjeevani Tele-consultation platform to provide upto 5 lakhs tele-consultations per day from the present 50,000 Tele-consultations per day. This includes support to the States/UTs to enable tele-consultations with the COVID patients at the COVID Care Centres (CCCs) by strengthening Hubs for eSanjeevani Tele-consultation in all the districts of the country.
- Support would also be provided for IT interventions, including strengthening the Central War room at DoHFW, strengthening Country’s COVID-19 Portal, 1075 COVID help lines and COWIN platform.
Under the CSS components, the efforts are aimed at strengthening district and sub district capacity for an effective and rapid response to the pandemic. States/UTs would be supported to:
- Create Paediatric units in all 736 districts and also, to establish Paediatric Centre of Excellence (PaediatricCoE) in each State/UT, (either in Medical Colleges, State Govt. Hospitals or Central Hospitals such as AIIMS, INIs, etc) for providing Tele-ICU services, mentoring and technical hand-holding to the District Paediatric units.
- Augment 20,000 ICU beds in public healthcare system out of which 20% will be Pediatric ICU beds.
- Provide care closer to the community due to the ingress of COVID-19 in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, by creating pre-fabricated structures for adding additional beds at the existing CHCs, PHCs and SHCs (6-20 bedded units) and support would also be provided to establish bigger field hospitals (50-100 bedded units) depending on the needs at tier-II or Tier-III cities and district HQs.
- Install 1050 numbers of Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks with Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS), with an aim to support at least one such unit per district.
- Augment the existing feet of ambulances – 8,800 ambulances will be added under the package.
- Engage Undergraduate and post graduate medical interns and final year MMBS, BSc, & GNM nursing students for effective COVID management.
- As “Test, Isolate and Treat” and following-up COVID Appropriate Behaviour at all the times, is the national strategy for effective COVID-19, support is provided to the States to maintain at least 21.5 lakhs per day.
- Flexible support to the Districts for meeting the requirement of essential medicines for COVID-19 management, including creation of buffer stock.
“India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project: Phase-II” would be implemented at a total cost of ₹ 23,123 Crore, from 01″ July 2021 to 31″ March 2022 with central and state share as under:
- Central Share of the ECRP-II –Rs.15,000 crore
- State Share of the ECRP-II –Rs.8,123 crore
With the focus on immediate needs for the next nine months of FY 21-22, to provide support to Central government hospitals / agencies and to State/UT Governments to augment their existing response to the second wave and the evolving pandemic, including at district and sub district levels in peripheral facilities.
In March 2020 last year, when the country was faced with the first wave of the COVID 19 pandemic, the PM announced a Central Sector Scheme of Rs. 15,000 crorefor the “India COVID 19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package”, providing a critical impetus to the efforts of MoHFW and States/UTs, and catalysing health systems activities for pandemic management. Since mid-February 2021, the country is experiencing a second wave with spread into rural, peri-urban and tribal areas.