Guwahati: Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has stated during the assembly session on Tuesday that the state government would require an addition of Rs 700 crore to continue its battle against coronavirus as the number of cases is increasing every day.
Addressing the assembly on day two of the four-day autumn session, Sarma lays down the details of expenditure on the floor of the House. The state health minister stated that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam has released Rs 199.72 crore to the districts during the pandemic.
The money released by the state health department and National Health Mission was spent on upgrading hospitals, setting up of COVID care centres, management of quarantine centres, providing food in COVID centres, and acquiring sanitisers.
Sarma brandished the bill of expenses made by the Assam government during the pandemic at the Assembly on Tuesday. In his address to the other lawmakers, he stated that medical colleges and ayurvedic colleges received Rs 3.85 crore for their expenses in COVID-19 management. Rs 52.95 crore was spent on testing of the virus.
For procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, medicines for the health workers, and frontline warriors of other departments Rs 75.95 crores were spent. Equipping health facilities with ventilators, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, and infrared thermometers cost around Rs 37.69 crore.
Transportation of patients infected by the coronavirus, bringing cancer patients from other states and migrants traveling via Shramik Express trains and chartered flights led the state government to spend Rs 42.89 crore.
Sarma also assured that the treatment of COVID-19 had been free of cost and shall remain so. But also informed that in certain circumstances charges would apply to the patients. Charges would avail for acquiring a paying cabinet at state-controlled hospitals.
However, medication and administration of plasma will be done for free. Also, it was mentioned that test results can be now obtained within 24 hours of testing with a charge, otherwise results can be collected after three days of testing without any payment.