Centre to release Rs 1,300 cr package for NE
From Sandeep Sharma
GUWAHATI: The Centre has agreed to provide a financial package of Rs 1,300 crore to the Northeastern states to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Tuesday.
The announcement was made following a review meeting held with the health ministers of the northeastern states.
Reviewing the COVID-19 situation with health ministers of all the northeastern states here on Tuesday, Mandaviya said that the fund is being provided to purchase medicines, enhance oxygen supply, increase beds — general, ICU and children — at local and district-level hospitals.
“The fund will also be utilised to speed up the vaccination drive by the states in the region. The Union government is committed to provide enough vaccines to the states,” he told a press conference following the review meeting.
The Union minister also informed that in-depth discussions were held during the review meeting where state health ministers offered their suggestions to combat the pandemic better in this region and to achieve vaccination for their people at the shortest possible time.
The Union minister appreciated the State governments of the northeast states for their efforts for controlling the spread of the pandemic during the period when this region was hit by the second wave. While enquiring about the possible threat of third wave in the northeast region, the minister was hopeful that the state governments are fully prepared and are equipped to thwart the possible third wave in this region.
The minister also informed that Centre has been constantly monitoring the situation of Covid in this region and is committed to provide all necessary assistance to all the States to tackle the pandemic better.
In the meeting, Assam health minister Keshav Mahanta and ministers from other states of Northeast gave an overview of the Covid situation and their strategies to combat the pandemic in their respective states through brief presentations.
Health ministers of Sikkim, Mizoram and Nagaland were present in the deliberation, while the education and law minister of Tripura and adviser of chief minister, Manipur represented their respective states in the review meeting.
Senior officials of the State Government and ministry of health and family welfare were present in the meeting.
On the prolonged second wave of the pandemic in the Northeast, the minister said the peak in the region was seen much later than the rest of India and so it was taking time to decline.
“In the last two weeks, the cases have started declining in the Northeast and this is a good sign. All the states took various steps to contain the second wave and it is ending now,” Mandaviya added.