The Centre is fully ready to tackle a possible third wave of COVID-19 and a provision of Rs 23,123 has been made for this purpose, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said in Shimla today.
He said special emphasis is being given to strengthening paediatric care amid apprehension that the third wave may affect children more than others.
Mr Thakur, who is on a five-day 'Jan Ashirwaad Yatra' in his home state Himachal Pradesh, was speaking to reporters in Shimla. This is his maiden visit to the state after being sworn-in as a Union Cabinet minister.
"The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is fully ready to tackle a possible third wave of COVID-19. A provision of Rs 23,123 crore has been made to deal with it," said Mr Thakur, who is also the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports.
"Special emphasis is being given to strengthening paediatric care as experts fear that the third wave may affect children more than others," he said.
Some experts have warned that the third wave of COVID-19 may affect children more while others have said there is little reason to believe this theory. However, experts concur that there is a need to improve paediatric Covid services in the country.
So far, India has reported 3,23,58,829 COVID-19 cases and 4,33,589 deaths due to the disease, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Mr Thakur started his 'Jan Ashirwaad Yatra' from Parwanoo in Solan district on Thursday. He will cover a distance of 623 km across four Lok Sabha constituencies and 37 assembly segments in eight districts in the hill state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)