Rs. 1.8 billion from the COVID fund to be used to import essential drugs


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has given instructions to release Rs. 1.8 billion from the COVID-19 Health and Social Security Fund to import essential medicines, according to the President’s Media Division.

These funds were received from donors to control the coronavirus disease.

The president said the money could be used for health needs as the COVID-19 outbreak is now under control.

A total of 234 kinds of drugs needed by hospitals are produced locally, and drug prices continue to rise sharply in the global market. In view of this situation, the President pointed to the possibility of rapidly increasing local pharmaceutical manufacturing and obtaining the necessary raw materials for this under the Indian credit line.

The President made the remarks during a discussion held at the President’s House in Colombo today (June 3) regarding issues of pressing concern in the area of ​​the health sector.

There are 12 pharmaceutical investors in Oyamaduwa and the Millewa area of ​​Horana. Production at these factories is expected to begin in the coming months and has the potential to produce more than 200 types of drugs in these regions, officials said.

“The Ministry of Samurdhi and Education plans to provide a nutritious meal to primary school children and pregnant women,” the president added.

The importation of drugs and medical equipment is financed from several sources. It is planned to also allocate the necessary funds from the proposed budget. Officials stressed that based on current progress in the health sector, it would return to normal within the next three months.

Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, President’s Chief of Staff Anura Dissanayake, Finance Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena, Ministry of Health Secretary SJS Chandragupta, Additional Secretary Dr Saman Ratnayake and heads of ministry line institutions were also present in the discussion.

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