Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Madhya Pradesh government is well-prepared to protect children in case a third wave of Covid strikes the country, claim government officials.
“Compared to the second wave, our preparations are much better. And unless something unforeseen happens, we would be able to deal with the situation,” Mission director of National Health Mission (NHM), Priyanka Das, Madhya Pradesh, told Free Press.
Das said Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) have been set up in almost all the district hospitals and to deal with any overflow, 10% beds in the general ICUs have also been reserved for children.
The number of hospital beds in the government sector has gone up from 24,000 to 31,000 since last wave and there are enough necessary equipment like nasal tubes and medicines. As for availability of medical oxygen, the situation is much better, she says.
Besides normal supply of oxygen through pipelines, the state government hospitals now have around 16,000 oxygen concentrators. “In some of district hospitals, we are in a position to convert all beds into oxygen beds,” she said. That would ensure that there would be no short supply of the live-saving gas. The NHM has recruited a fair number of medical support staff like nurses to meet any situation.
About Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 virus, Das said that the experience of South Africa and UK as also other parts of the country shows that it is not causing severe problems in infected persons, especially if they are vaccinated. “In Madhya Pradesh, around 82 % of the population is vaccinated and this is better than even many Western countries,” she remarked.
About vaccination of kids and booster doses for medical workers, she said they have not received any instructions from Government of India. “If and when any such instructions come, we will start the process,” Das added.
Director, Woman and Child Development, RR Bhonsle said as far as the medical aspect of dealing with a possible third wave is concerned, the decisions will be taken by the health department in accordance with the government of India guidelines. “Anganwadis in the state have reopened. They are being run from 9 am to 1 pm every day. If we receive instructions not to call children to anganwadis, we will do it,” he said.
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