A committee of experts constituted under the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), set up on the directions of the Home Ministry, has concluded that the third wave of Covid-19 could peak around October. It has sought better medical preparedness for children who might be at similar risk as adults.
The report, according to the Times of India, has noted that “paediatric facilities — doctors, staff, equipment like ventilators, ambulances, etc. are nowhere close to what may be required in case a large number of children become infected”. The report has been submitted to the PMO.
The report has called for prioritising vaccination among children with co-morbidities and a special focus on those with disability.
The study: “Third Wave Preparedness: Children Vulnerability and Recovery,” has looked into the possibility of Covid-affecting children and the required strategies to deal with the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the group headed by NITI Aayog member VK Paul, in their recommendation shared with the government last month, has suggested preparing 23 hospitalisations for every 100 positive cases in a future Covid-19 infection surge.
This estimation is higher than the projection the group had made in September 2020 ahead of the second wave, when it calculated that about 20% of patients with “severe/ moderately severe” symptoms would require hospitalisation, The Indian Express reported.
After the Covid-19 second wreaked havoc, the recommendation to set aside a larger number of hospital beds is based on the pattern seen during April-June to this year. Reportedly, during its peak, on June 1 when the active caseload across the country was 18 lakh, 21.74% cases required hospitalisation in the 10 states with the maximum cases, of them, 2.2% were in ICU.
The Centre is fully ready to tackle a possible third wave of COVID-19 and a provision of Rs 23,123 crore has been made for this purpose, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Friday. He said special emphasis is being given to strengthening paediatric care amid apprehension that the third wave may affect children more than others.