Mansukh Mandaviya announces special package for Kerala to fight Covid-19 pandemic
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday announced a special package of ₹267.35 crore for Kerala to strengthen its health infrastructure to fight the Covid-19 pandemic effectively.
Sent to the state in the wake of a heavy virus caseload, the Union minister met chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and health minister Veena George and officials in the state capital.
“We will provide all possible help to the state. Besides this amount, ₹one crore will be made available to each district to create a medicine pool. The Centre will also ensure creation of a centre of excellence that caters to telemedicine facilities in every district,” the minister tweeted after his marathon talks with the CM and others. He also said the state will be given top priority in allocation of vaccine.
“Had an intensive meeting with the CM and health minister and officials. The Centre is committed to help the state. For prioritising health of children, a paediatric ICU will be established in each district hospital with 10 kilo-litre liquid oxygen tank facility,” he tweeted.
Later a senior health official, who did not want to be named, said talks were fruitful and the central minister was studious and aware of problems being faced by the state. He said the CM’s office will release details of the conversation later. Kerala also raised its long- pending demand for an AIMS in the state.
For more than a month now, the state has been reporting half of the total caseload of the country and its test positivity rate is four times higher than the national average. With three per cent of the nation’s population, the state has been contributing more than half of the total cases and its case trajectory has baffled medical experts and others.
Worried, the Union government had rushed an experts’ team to the state in the first week of August and it visited eight districts during their week-long tour. Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan, also from Kerala, said two days back that the Centre was worried about the pandemic situation in the state.
Kerala on Monday added 12,294 cases with a TPR of 14.03% after 87,578 samples were tested, according to the state health ministry. Test numbers dropped drastically since Sunday was closed–still the TPR shows high prevalence of the infection in the state.
It also reported 142 deaths and the toll rose to 18,743. Malappuram remained on top of the Covid-19 chart with 1693 cases. The active caseload is 1,72, 239. In the last 24 hours, the country reported 32,937 cases with a TPR of less than 3 per cent. The state government is keeping a strict vigil during the ongoing Onam festivities and many experts have warned of another surge after the festival.