After declaring the Coronavirus outbreak as a 'notified disaster,' the Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified the items and norms of assistance from the State Disaster Respond Fund (SDRF). The MHA on Saturday had declared the virus spread as a 'notified disaster' in order to provide assistance under the SDRF. The COVID-19 virus was earlier declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The deadly virus has so far claimed 2 lives in India with 107 positive cases reported.
The measures for quarantine, sample collection, and screening include, "provision for temporary accommodation, food, clothing, medical care, etc for people affected and sheltered in quarantine camps (other than home quarantine) or for cluster containment operations. Cost of consumables for sample collection. Support for checking, screening and contact tracing."
According to the Norms of Assistance, "As per actual expenditure and as per the assessment of need by State Executive Committee (SEC) to ensure the effective containment of outbreak for a period of up to 30 days. The SEC will decide the number of quarantine camps, their duration, and the number of persons in such camps. This period can be extended by the SEC beyond the prescribed limit subject to the condition that expenditure on this account should not exceed 25 percent of SDRF allocation for the year. Medical care may also be provided from National Health Mission (NHM)."
To procure essential equipment and set up additional testing laboratories, the expenditure is to be incurred from the SDRF as assessed by the SEC in a bid to strengthen the surveillance and control measures against the pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organisation. However, the Norms of Assistance has also added that while there will be a provision for the cost of personal equipment for healthcare, municipal, police, and fire authorities and the cost of thermal scanners, ventilators, air purifiers and consumables for government hospitals, the total expenditure on the equipment should not exceed 10 per cent of the annual allocation of the SDRF.
The Executive Committee has also been instructed to ensure that there is no duplication with reference to any government schemes and that any amount spent by the state for Covid-19 would be borne out of the state government's resources.
According to the latest figures available on Sunday, the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India has soared up to 107 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Along with it, two deaths have been reported in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
(With ANI Inputs)