Budget for Covid-19 response: Rs 6b for control measures, 12b for health infrastructure

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has appropriated a budget of Rs 6 billion for cornonavirus pandemic prevention and control measures. The said budget has been allocated for drugs, medical equipment and other treatment materials required for Covid-19 response.

The quarantine facilities will be set up as per necessary standards and coverage of testing in high risk areas will be widened. Free life insurance up to Rs 500,000 for all health workers serving against coronavirus and other contagious diseases has been included in the budget this year.

A 300-bed infectious disease hospital in the Kathmandu Valley will be set up in the fiscal year. A 250-bed intensive treatment unit in public hospitals will also be established soon.

Pokhara and Karnali Institute of Health Sciences and Koshi, Narayani, Bharatpur, Bheri and Dadeldhura hospitals would be upgraded to speciality hospitals, eventually.

Likewise, Rs 12.46 billion have been allocated for the development of health infrastructure in the country. National Public Health Laboratory Teku would be enhanced, well-equipped health laboratory in all state capitals would be established, necessary labs in all health facilities will be expanded.

Health desk with necessary equipment will be set up at main border crossing points for compulsory health check up of those entering the country.