The Delhi government has told the centre that it does not require any new testing kits, testing labs, new paediatric oxygen/ICU beds or Liquid Oxygen storage tanks to fight the Covid-19. While all other states have submitted their requirements under the Rs 23,123 crore ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II (ECRP-II)’ announced by the central government, the Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government has cited “zero” requirement of such items, according to a report by News18.
In view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the central government on August 13 announced the allocation of 35% of the funds from the ECRP-II package to help states and union territories prepare the public healthcare systems in response to the evolving pandemic. Earlier 15% of the fund was allocated, which means so far 50% has been allocated.
However, while the AAP government keeps blaming the central govt for its mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, and accuses the centre of not cooperating with it, has not submitted any requirement under the scheme.
Out of the Rs 23,123 crore allocated for the scheme, the centre will fund 60% or Rs 14,774 crore, while the rest 40% will be provided by the states. The states were asked to send in their proposals on where they require the central fund. Based on those proposals, the Centre approved Rs 14,774 crore on Friday and has released 50% of that amount to all states.
According to the News18 report, while all other states have sent their proposals under the scheme, Delhi has not submitted any requirement for any testing kit, lab, ICU unit, oxygen plant etc. However, it is not clear whether Delhi is planning to procure the items using its share of 40% fund alone, without the central contribution, or it actually does not require the facilities at all.
Among the requirements submitted by other states, Uttar Pradesh sought 7.4 crore new testing kits, 30 new testing labs, 1,240 ambulances, nearly 4,700 paediatric ICU/Oxygen beds and 4000 ICU beds. Smaller Union territories like Chandigarh has sought 1.5 lakh testing kits and about 180 new beds, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands has asked for 6 lakh new testing kits, 2 new testing labs and 75 beds.
Overall, 827 Paediatric units, 42 Paediatric Centres of Excellence, 23056 ICU beds including 20% Paediatric ICU beds, 203 Field Hospitals, 961 Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks, 433 RT-PCR labs, 5768 ambulances will be established or provided to the states under this scheme. The states have also sought 34 crore new testing kits, and 18.64 Crore RT-PCR and 16.55 Crore Rapid Antigen Test Kits are being provided to perform at least 35.19 Crore tests in 9 months. To provide care closer to the community due to the ingress of COVID-19 in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, 8010 Pre-fabricated structures will be created for adding additional beds at the existing CHCs, PHCs and SHCs (6-20 bedded units) which will help in creation of 75,218 Oxygen supported beds.