March 24, 2020 / 5:30 PM / 16 days ago

U.S. awards $100 million to health centers to boost coronavirus response

A homeless person pushes his belongings through a deserted Times Square following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Tuesday it had awarded $100 million to 1,381 health centers across the nation to bolster their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The health centers may use the funds to meet screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies and boost telehealth capacity, the HHS said.

“The new grants we’re releasing today are a rapid injection of resources secured by President Trump from Congress in the supplemental funding bill,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

President Donald Trump had signed an emergency spending bill for $8.3 billion on March 6, which included the $100 million funding.

HHS is making this funding for health centers available immediately, recognizing the urgency of the situation.

The coronavirus outbreak has spread to over 46,000 people in the United States and led to over 500 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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