New Delhi: The central government on Thursday sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore as part of the ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has affected close to 6,000 people in the nation. Also Read - UP News: 21 Fresh Coronavirus Cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Total Tally at 591

The move was taken the night after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement for a centrally-funded five-year scheme that will be divided among all states and union territories. Also Read - Procure And Stock PPE Kits, Oxygen Masks For 3 Months, Delhi Govt Directs Hospitals Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases

The scheme will be implemented in three phases – first, from January 2020 to June 2020; second, from July 2020 to March 2021; and lastly from April 2021 to March 2024. Also Read - Coronavirus in Gurugram: Private Hospitals to Face Action if Patients Refused Treatment

The main objective if the package is to fund coronavirus treatment facilities, procure medical equipment required for the treatment.

“With the objectives of emergency COVID-19 response, strengthening national and state health systems to support prevention and preparedness, procurement of essential medical equipment, consumables and drugs, strengthening of surveillance activities, including setting up of laboratories and bio-security preparedness,” the statement said.

“The key activities to be implemented under Phase 1 include support to states and UTs for development of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, isolation blocks, ICUs with ventilators oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories, hiring of additional human resources and incentives to human resource and community health volunteers,” it added.

The Health Ministry also reported that there has been an increase of 591 cases of COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours, taking India’s total positive count to 5,865. This includes 5,218 active cases, 478 cured/discharged/migrated cases and 169 deaths.