On Wednesday, the PM-CARES Fund Trust allocated Rs. 3,100 crore for the fight against COVID-19. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister's Office.
Out of this amount, approximately Rs. 2,000 crore was to be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators. Rs 1,000 crore would be used to take care of migrant labourers, while Rs 100 crore would be given to support vaccine development, the Prime Minister's Office said.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund was set up on March 27, after the novel coronavirus outbreak, and is intended to deal with "any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic". The trust is headed by the Prime Minister, and the other ex-oficio members are the Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
According to a PIB press note, the funds will be used to purchase 50,000 ‘Made-in-India’ ventilators which will cost aproximately Rs 2,000 crores. These ventilators will be provided to government run hospitals who are treating coronavirus patients.
PIB explained that the Rs. 1000 crore that is being allotted to help migrants and poor people would be given as a lumpsum assistance to the States and Union Territories. It would then be placed at the disposal of the District Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to augment their efforts to combat the deadly virus. It would be released through the State Disaster Relief Commissioner.
This money would be used to help them provide accommodation facilities, make food arrangements, provide medical treatment and make transportation arrangements for the migrants.
The funds would be released taking into account the number of positive cases recorded by the state/UT so far (40% weightage), it's population as the per 2011 Census (50% weightage) as well as "equal share for all states/UTs to ensure basic minimum sum for all states" (10% weightage).
There is at present no cure or vaccine when it comes to the novel coronavirus. With over 74,000 cases in India and over 4.2 million cases recorded worldwide till date, the need for a virus is pressing.
Researchers and other organisations are working overtime to develop a vaccine, and Rs 100 crore from the PM-CARES fund has been allotted to support the same. This will be utilized under the supervision of the Principal Scientific Advisor.