Govt clarifies: Not sitting on international Covid aid, distributed across India

National

The Centre on Tuesday rejected media reports that claimed that while the first consignment of international Covid-19 assistance arrived in India on April 25, the Centre took seven days to frame the Standard Operating Procedure to distribute the medical supplies among states.

Stating that some television news channels misinterpreted factual information, the Centre clarified that even though the Standard Operating Procedure for allocations was issued by the health ministry on May 2, the work on allocation and distribution of international aid material to the states and Union Territories had started immediately as and when the aid arrived.

The Centre claimed that the process to track and clear within hours Covid-related imports like oxygen and oxygen-related equipment on arrival had been streamlined. A systematic mechanism for allocating the support supplies had already been put into place.

The government said that the Health Ministry set up a cell on April 26 to coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign relief material as grants, aid and donations. Besides this, a high-level committee under Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and comprising of officials from MEA, health ministry and other ministries had also been formed to oversee the whole operation.

In a statement, the Centre said the allocations are done keeping in mind equitable distribution and the load on tertiary health care facilities.