United News of India
New Delhi, Apr 9: With 663 new COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths appearing in last 24 hours across the country, taking the tally of cases to 5,865 and casualties to 169, the Union Government on Thursday announced Rs 15,000 crore centre-funded emergency fund for State governments.
The fund, called as COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package, can be used for strengthening the health infrastructure, procurement of equipment, upgradation of labs, ambulances, community surveillance and other allied works, as per an official statement.
Taking stock of the situation, Group of Ministers (GoM) held a high-level meeting, in which Covid containment, management and setting up of dedicated Covid hospitals were discussed.
An order for 1.7 crore PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and 49,000 ventilators have been placed with 20 domestic manufacturers, Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal informed in daily press briefing.
The Union Government also permitted NGOs and charitable organisations to buy food grains directly from Food Corporation of India at the open market rates for relief operations.