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With the rise in coronavirus cases in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday decided to treat Covid-19 as a “notified disaster”.

This decision will enable the states to spend a larger chunk of funds from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to fight the pandemic which has affected almost 90 people in India.

The Centre said that cost of hospitalization for managing coronavirus patients would be fixed by the state governments. The state government can use SDRF fund for providing temporary accommodation, food, clothing and medical care for people affected and sheltered in quarantine camps.

The state executive committee will decide the number of quarantine camps, their duration and the number of persons in such camps. “Period can be extended by the committee beyond the prescribed limit subject to condition that expenditure on this account should not exceed 25 percent of SDRF allocation for the year,” the Ministry of Home Affairs notification stated.

Further, funds can also be withdrawn for setting up additional testing laboratories within the government set up.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India rose to 89, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday. So far, two deaths have been reported due to the lethal infection in the country.

The coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year, has so far spread to more than 100 countries, and infected over 1,20,000 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a pandemic.

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