Paediatric infra ramp-up, vaccination boost: States prepare to tackle 3rd wave

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By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
June 15, 2021 1:54:44 am

Several states have already started preparing to tackle the likelihood of a sudden surge in cases, considering the chance of an increased risk to children.

WITH HEALTH authorities warning of the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19, several states have already started preparing to tackle the likelihood of a sudden surge in cases, considering the chance of an increased risk to children. The Indian Express takes a look at preparations by a few states.

Gujarat: Saying that a third wave is likely to hit the state around October or November, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Monday announced an action plan to tackle any such situation, adding that the government is prepared to put in efforts “almost double the intensity” to those made during the second wave.

Among steps announced were the setting up of a statewide command and control system for real-time updates on hospital beds, an additional 600 Covid facilities, increasing the oxygen beds and ICU beds from 61,000 and 15,000 to 1,10,000 and 30,000, respectively. The plan includes doubling of paediatric beds from 2,000 to 4,000 in government hospitals with creation of child-friendly wards. The government is also planning to fill up all the vacancies in medical facilities and boost testing.

Kerala: The government has started preparing with a two-pronged strategy — increasing vaccination coverage and strengthening paediatric health infrastructure. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said “guidelines have been already prepared with regard to treatment and discharge of children.”

After a high-level meeting, Health Minister Veena George said the number of vaccine doses being administered daily will be increased to 2-2.5 lakh to ensure coverage for as many people as possible before a third wave.

The Health Department has also decided to increase the treatment facilities for children. “Strengthening the paediatric facilities in government hospitals already began last Monday…number of paediatric ICU beds would be increased. Training in infection control would be given to protect the healthcare workers. More oxygen beds, IUCs and ventilators would be established in government as well as private hospitals,” George said.

Telangana: The state government has started ramping up infrastructure at all paediatric hospitals in the state and is setting up additional facilities at Niloufer hospital for women and children at Hyderabad. The government has also decided to convert all existing beds in government hospitals into oxygen beds — only about 10,300 beds currently have oxygen supply of the total nearly 25,900 beds.

Paediatric health infrastructure is also being strengthened by increasing oxygen and ICU beds in all teaching, district, and area hospitals in the state, and nearly 4,000 oxygen/ICU beds will be available exclusively for paediatric cases. Training modules and SOPs for healthcare workers at different levels are being prepared keeping paediatric cases in mind. — With Shaju Philip in Thiruvananthapuram, Sreenivas Janyala in Hyderabad & ENS Gandhinagar

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