Covid-19 could be opportunity for India to speed up Ayushman Bharat: WHO chief

Ghebreyesus was responding to a question on the COVID-19 situation in India, where the number of coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly

Covid-19 could be opportunity for India to speed up Ayushman Bharat: WHO chief

United Nations, June 6

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has presented challenges for several nations, could be an “opportunity” for India to speed up the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, especially with a focus on primary health care, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.

WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus was responding to a question on the COVID-19 situation in India, where the number of coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly. India went past Italy on Friday to become the sixth worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic.

India saw a record single-day jump of 9,887 coronavirus cases and 294 deaths on Saturday, pushing the nationwide infection tally to 2,36,657 and the death toll to 6,642, according to the health ministry.

"Of course, COVID is very unfortunate and it's challenging for many nations but we need to look for opportunities too. For instance, for India, this could be an opportunity to speed up Ayushman Bharat, especially with a focus on primary health care. I know there is a very strong commitment from the government to speed up the implementation of Ayushman Bharat and with primary health care and community engagement, I think we can really turn the tide,” Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

Ayushman Bharat is the world's largest health insurance scheme and was launched by the Narendra Modi government in 2018. Last month, Modi had said that the number of people who had benefited from the scheme crossed the one crore-mark.

The scheme aims to cover more than 500 million beneficiaries and provide coverage of Rs 500,000 per family per year.

Referring to the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Ghebreyesus added that “using and speeding up what has started could actually help in India and that's what WHO was very appreciative by the way when Ayushman Bharat started. And this could be a very good opportunity actually to test that and speed up and use it to really fight this pandemic.” PTI

Top Stories

Indian regulator to decide on foreign vaccine makers’ applications in 3 days

Indian regulator to decide on foreign vaccine makers’ applications in 3 days

Under the guidelines, the applications for grant of approval...

Arvind Kejriwal announces weekend curfew in Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal announces weekend curfew in Delhi

Malls, gyms, spas, auditoriums in Delhi to remain closed

Punjab students in Classes 5, 8 and 10 to be promoted without exams: CM

Punjab students in Classes 5, 8 and 10 to be promoted without exams: CM

A decision on Class 12 PSEB exams, which have already been p...

Haryana cancels Class-X board exam, postpones Class-XII exam

Haryana cancels Class-X board exam, postpones Class-XII exam

The result of Class X will be declared on the basis of inter...

Haryana issues Covid advisory; caps number of people at weddings, funerals

Haryana issues Covid advisory; caps number of people at weddings, funerals

'Haryana will not face lockdown', CM appeals to farmers to e...

Cities

View All