With experts cautioning that children are likely to be predominantly affected during the third wave, the Health Department is all set to launch ‘Arogya Nandana’, a new initiative to test all children for COVID-19 in Karnataka.
Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai will launch the programme within a week, Health and Medical Minister K. Sudhakar said here on Tuesday.
Addressing presspersons, the Minister said over 1.5 crore children in the State will be tested for COVID-19 under this initiative. “Besides, children with low immunity and other co-morbidities will be identified, and provided with nutritious food and supplements to boost their immunity. All measures will be taken to monitor their health,” Dr. Sudhakar said.
The programme will be taken up jointly by the Health and the Women & Child Development Departments. The modalities of the programme are being worked out, he said.
The State will appeal for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Centre to achieve its ambitious target to fully inoculate the entire eligible adult population in Karnataka by December 2021.
“I will soon visit Delhi to seek additional supply of vaccines for Karnataka. With 25% of the vaccine production allocated to the private sector, we are having discussions with corporates to explore the possibility of the companies procuring vaccines under Corporate Social Responsibility and providing them to the State government. This will significantly accelerate the vaccination drive,” the Minister said.
The Minister, who later met representatives of over 30 pharma companies in the State, called upon them to use their CSR funds for vaccine procurement.
“It is now quite evident that the disease is mild even if those who have been fully inoculated are reinfected. Ahead of the third wave, there is a need to vaccinate all the eligible population and we want to do this by December. This can be possible if you join hands with the government,” he said.