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Odisha prepares for 1,500 daily paediatric cases in next COVID-19 wave

A health department worker sanitize a COVID ward of a hospital in Ganjam district of Odisha. File.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

Odisha government has directed all district headquarters and sub-divisional hospitals to earmark at least 10 isolation beds as paediatrics care facilities.

Though there has been no certainty that the anticipated third COVID-19 wave will impact children disproportionately, the Odisha government is preparing to deal with 1,500 infections daily among children.

A statement from the State Health and Family Welfare Department on the standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the possible third-wave said, “Currently, approximately 8% of the total COVID-19 cases are in the age group of 0-18 years. In USA the contribution of cases of 0-18 years is up to 14%. Considering the possible surge of infection in the age-group, it is estimated to be around 15% of infected population. In the current wave, the State has registered average 10,000 cases during peak period. There could be nearly 1,500 cases pertaining to this age-group.”

The State’s SOP says that about 300 children — 20% of the projected 1,500 daily cases — would be requiring hospitalisation, and 15 patients (5% of 300) might have to be put under intensive care support.

Seven medical college hospitals have been asked to keep newborn intensive care units, paediatric ICUs, special newborn care units and isolation beds ready for the children. Similarly, all COVID Care Centres having ICU facilities have been directed to earmark 15% of their capacities for paediatric patients.

The government has projected 2,850 isolation beds for paediatric COVID-19 patients and 150 ICUs for them.

According to the SOP, “All hospitals are advised to keep sufficient stocks of medicine, consumables and medicine oxygen for the purpose. In areas where caseloads are expected to be high, establishment of standalone paediatric COVID care facilities will be considered.”

The majority of children are expected to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and they can be managed at home. The capacity building of manpower for such a scenario is likely to be conducted in the virtual or off-line mode.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 12:18:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-prepares-for-1500-daily-paediatric-cases-in-next-covid-19-wave/article34851117.ece

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