Covid-19 battle: World Bank offers $1bn for proposed India project

Mumbai: The World Bank has offered $1 billion to the Indian government for a proposed India Covid-19 emergency response and health systems preparedness project. This four-year project aims to develop the preparedness of India’s health care systems in the time of the pandemic.

The idea of the project will be to respond and mitigate the Covid-19 threat and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in India, as per the project document.

The World Bank funding is from its Covid-19 fast-track facility where both the entities (World Bank and the government of India) will work on following the best international practice.

The project, according to the document seen by ET, will measure progress on key indicators such as proportion of laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 who responded within 48 hours and the proportion of specimens submitted for SARS-COV-2 laboratory testing confirmed within WHOstipulated standard time.

According to the project document, the government assessment seems to be that outbreaks like Covid-19 will continue in the coming years, and hence there needs to be a long-term strategy to tackle the next wave of the disease.

For example, one of the focus areas of this partnership is on India’s emergency response system to the disease — the aim of this component of the project is to slow down and limit the spread of Covid-19, the joint document says. This, both the parties say, will be achieved through providing immediate support to enhance disease detection capacities through increasing surveillance capacities, port health screening, etc.

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