Bhubaneswar: Keeping possible COVID Third Wave in mind, the Odisha Government has started preparedness to strengthen its existing medical infrastructure for childcare.
Children are likely to be affected more during the possible third wave, as predicted by public health experts. Therefore, the Government has geared up to tackle the situation.
Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health and Family Welfare, Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra has asked all Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and Heads of various healthcare institutions to start preparedness to strengthen the childcare in the hospitals in their respective areas.
The Government has accepted the recommendations made by Technical Committee headed by Director Medical Education & Training (DMET) CBK Mohanty, on this purpose and instructed all concern to implement those.
The State Government has decided to create a designated pediatric wing in the existing COVID hospitals for better and safe management of cases as strict isolation of Covid-19 positive pediatric cases may not possible in general wards, which may lead to transmission of infection to Non-COVID children, Mr.Mohapatra said in his letter.
He said a total of 2220 beds including 610 ICU facilities to be created in various government healthcare facilities across the State. As many as 357 beds will be created in seven state-run medical colleges and hospitals for the treatment of the COVID infected children. The beds to be created in the medical colleges located at Burla, Cuttack, Balasore, Koraput, Berhampur, Baripada and Bolangir.
Of the total beds,155 will be isolation beds, 44 HDU (High Dependency Unit), 94 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)/ Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) and 64 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The Department Of Health has also planned to set up a dedicated COVID Block in the Sishu Bhawan, Cuttack. One attendant may be allowed to stay in the hospital considering the requirement and breast feeding corner will be established in all the dedicated COVID facilities, sources said.
Similarly, 15 per cent of the total beds in the COVID hospitals are to be reserved for the pediatric patients. As many as 10,736 general beds and 4072 ICU like beds are there in the existing COVID hospitals across the state. Therefore, 1455 general beds and 408 ICU beds are to be dedicated for the children.
All the District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs) and Sub-Divisional Hospitals (SDHs) have been directed to reserve at least 10 beds for isolation of the suspected cases and will transfer the symptomatic patients to the appropriate COVID hospital. Moreover, about two to four beds to be reserved in each of the Community Health Centres (CHCs) for such patients, the ACS said.
If the child found COVID positive, he/she will be transferred to appropriate COVID hospital, he said.
The superintendents of all Government medical colleges and Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) have been directed to keep sufficient stocks of the required medicines, consumables and medical oxygen for the treatment of children.
In the areas where the case load is expected to be high, Mr.Mohapatra said the Government will set up standalone pediatric COVID Care facilities.
As per the suggestions made by the Technical Committee headed by head of the pediatric department of SCB Medical College and Hospital, the State Government has initiated process for procurement of required list of equipment consumables & medicines through Odisha State Medical Corporation Ltd (OSMCL).
On 1 June, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked senior Government officers and collectors to be prepared for the possible third wave.
Chairing weekly COVID Review meeting with Collectors and SPs through virtual mode, Naveen had said, “Hope fully in the coming weeks, the cases in the second wave will continue to come down completely. However, we should learn from this experience and be prepared for the third wave possibility. Special arrangements need to be put in place to treat the children in every district.”