Maharashtra is fighting with the daunting second wave of Covid-19, but now the state is prepping for a possible third wave of the pandemic that could hit at the end of July or early August and is feared to affect children. More than 8,000 children have already been infected with the virus in the month of May in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar.
It triggered the bullet and the state has started taking extra steps to minimise the impact of a possible third wave of the pandemic. A Covid-19 ward is being prepared for children in Maharasthra’s Sangli city. Presently, only 5 children are being treated here but the facility is being prepared for more patients.
“We have prepared this Covid ward for kids so that if and when the third wave comes, we are prepared and kids will not feel they are in hospital but instead will feel they are in a school or nursery”, NDTV quoted Corporator Abhijit Bhosale.
Authorities were alerted and district administration is reaching out to paediatricians to make sure they are well prepared for the third wave. During the second wave in Maharashtra, there was a shortage of oxygen and beds. Thus, the higher officials of the state are arranging everything and preparing themselves beforehand. The state government doesn’t want to take any chances this time.
The state of Maharashtra was among the first states to be swept by the dangerous second wave of the outbreak in the country, which emerged in February. The hospitals, patients and their families are struggling to find treatment, oxygen and medicines.
The Maharashtra government on 30th May, Sunday extended the lockdown in the state till June 15. Uddhav Thackeray, CM of Maharashtra said that cases in many parts of the state, especially rural areas, are continuing to surge. So, there would be tight restrictions in the rural areas, while places where the positive cases had dropped below 10 percent, could see relaxations. Though people won’t be allowed to drop their guard and protection despite the reduction in the number of cases.
The state government has decided to launch a massive programme to train 5,000 doctors in managing pediatric Covid-19 cases. The training programme is one of the first recommendations of a special task force set up exclusively to protect children in the third wave.
Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra announced the setting up of a pediatric task force which will comprise 13 experts from the state. He further said that noted paediatrician Dr Subhas Prabhu will be the chief of the task force, while Tatyarao Lahane, the director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, its member secretary.
Uddhav Thackeray has made an announcement that his government has decided to increase oxygen production of the state to 3,000 metric tonnes from 1,200 metric tonnes at the moment under the ‘Mission Oxygen’ initiative to avoid any scarcity. He also urged the people to be careful as the third wave might be more ferocious.
During the preparations by the state to fight the inevitable third wave, Thackeray further said the task force members have started speaking with family doctors to tell them what to do if a Covid positive patient comes and what line of treatment to follow.
Maharashtra is a major contributor behind the surge of new infections as well as to the positive caseload of the country. The state reported more than 57,000 new active cases and 920 deaths on 5th May. India is currently staggering under the weight of the second wave of Covid-19 that has overburdened the underprepared healthcare infrastructure of the country.
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