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Centre releases Rs 890cr for Covid fight

The Center has released Rs 890 crore to 22 states and Union Territories as the second installment of a financial package to improve healthcare infrastructure to respond to the coronavirus epidemic, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

The health ministry said the financial aid was intended to be used to improve testing facilities, add hospital infrastructure such as intensive care unit beds, oxygen generators and bedside oxygen concentrators, among others, and to provide training and incentives to healthcare workers.

The recipient states are Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

The Center had in April released the first installment of Rs 3,000 crore to all states and Union Territories to ramp up testing, augment hospital infrastructure, procure drugs and other supplies and conduct surveillance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in his address to the nation on March 24 said the central government would provision Rs 15,000 crore for the treatment of patients with the coronavirus disease and for strengthening medical infrastructure across India.