Elderly people leave after receiving COVID-19 vaccines in Mumbai, March 8. (Image: AP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government on July 13 approved Rs 23,123 crore as 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Package' (ERHSPP), to fight with the pandemic.
With the help of this emergency package, the health ministry is aiming at augmenting 20,000 ICU beds in public healthcare system with 20 percent pediatrics ICU beds.
Apart from this, the Ministry will create pediatric units in all 736 districts and establish pediatric centre of excellence in each State and Union Territory. These units will provide Tele-ICU services, mentoring and hand-holding to the district pediatric units, Joint Health Secretary Luv Agarwal said while addressing a press conference.
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The government will use the ERHSPP to add additional beds at the existing CHCs, PHCs and HSCs. The funds will also be used to establish bigger field hospitals depending on the needs at tier-II and tier-III cities and district headquarters, said Agarwal.
Citing the storage of medical oxygen in April, 2021, the central government will install 1,050 numbers of liquid medical oxygen storage tanks with medical gas pipeline system with an aim to support at at least one such unit per district.
Also, 8,800 new ambulances will be added and continue to engage undergraduate and post-graduate medical interns and final year MBBS, BSc, and GNM nursing students in emergency response and health system preparedness program.
Meanwhile, the health ministry informed that a total of 30.66 crore people in the country have been vaccinated with the first dose, while 7.49 crore vaccines have been administered as second dose. Health workers and frontline workers have been administered a total of 1.76 crore and 2.77 crore vaccines, respectively. That apart, 21.08 crore people with age over 45 years and 11.82 crore people between 18-44 years of age have been vaccinated.