Facilities to treat kids in third COVID wave grossly inadequate: Govt report

A report issued to the government by an expert committee cautioned that India’s facilities for treating children affected in the third wave of COVID-19 were woefully inadequate.

The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) released a study earlier this month that was sent to the Prime Minister’s office.

Third Wave Preparedness: Children’s Vulnerability and Recovery is the title of the report, which focuses on treatment readiness for children.

“Paediatric facilities—doctors, staff, equipment like ventilators, ambulances, and so on—are nowhere near what may be required in the event that a high number of children become ill,” the paper states. The article cited prior research to highlight the severe paediatric and specialist scarcity in primary and community health centres.

The report downplayed alarmist expectations that the third wave of COVID would be more harmful to youngsters. “The Indian Academy of Paediatrics found no biological evidence that the current and future Delta Plus variants will impact children disproportionately more than adults,” it said. The India Task Force of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission has likewise determined that “there is no current indication that the predicted third wave will especially target children.” It also highlighted a serological survey conducted in March and June that indicated “serological prevalence of 55.7 percent in ages 2-17 years and 63.5 percent among adults, indicating that there was a statistical difference in frequency between adults and children.”

The lack of immunisation for people under the age of 18 was, however, a “cause for concern, if not panic,” according to the report.

Vaccination, according to the NIDM research, is the only option to reduce the third wave’s damage. The newspaper added, citing a study: “India’s current vaccination rate is 3.2 percent, and if this does not increase, the next (third) wave might see 6 lakh cases per day. However, if the government’s proposal to boost this pace by fivefold (1 crore doses each day) is implemented, India will only witness 25% of the cases (as seen in the Second Wave) in the third wave “

According to prior projections, the third wave’s peak might occur in October, but instances would be lower than those seen in the second wave, with roughly 3.2 lakh cases per day. However, if more virulent strains of the virus arise, the third way’s peak might occur in September, with up to 5 lakh infections each day.

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