The government and the AIIB on Friday signed a COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project that would help strengthen India’s public health preparedness. This is the first ever health sector support from the Beijing-headquartered bank to India.
The project will be implemented by the National Health Mission (NHM), the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“This new support will cover all States and Union Territories across India and address the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service providers, medical and testing facilities, and national and animal health agencies,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The project will enable the government slow and limit as much as possible the spread of COVID-19 in India by providing immediate support to enhance disease detection capacities, oxygen delivery systems and medicines among others, it said.
Department of Economic Affairs Additional Secretary Sameer Kumar Khare said “AIIB’s timely assistance will help the government in its efforts to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen the national health systems for preparedness in India.”
DJ Pandian, AIIB Vice-President (Investment Operations), said that building a resilient health system that can effectively treat COVID-19 patients and prevent its spread is the immediate priority, and this funding will address this need and strengthen India’s capacity to effectively manage future disease outbreaks.
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