State govt notifies Dr Prabhu-led 14-member paediatric task force

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued notification on the formation of a 14-member Task Force of pediatricians headed by Dr Suhas Prabhu to guide on the treatment protocols for the children from the age group of 0-18 years ahead of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The notification came three days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Dr Prabhu with his team members participated at the maiden interaction with over 6,000 doctors across the state to discuss the threat to the children and what treatment can be given to them.

The members include Dr Vijay Yewale, Dr Bakul Parekh, Dr Bela Verma, Dr Sudha Rao, Dr Parmanand Aandankar, Dr Vinay Joshi, Dr Sushama Save, Dr Jitendra Gavhane, Dr Pramod Jog, Dr Aarti Kinnikar, Dr Rishikesh Thakre, Dr Akash Bang and Director Medical Education as the Member Secretary. The notification was signed by the Public Health Department’s additional chief secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas.

The Task Force’s mandate included to guide the state government on protecting the children from the age group of 0-18 years from the Covid infection, treatment to avoid transmission in case of virus infection and develop treatment protocols.

Even before Wednesday’s notification, the Task Force has held meetings with Thackeray and initiated its work during the present second wave and considering the third wave of Covid.

Dr Prabhu in his presentation to doctors across the state on Sunday said in a majority of cases the only symptom may be fever with complete recovery being made in a week's time.

"The other possibility was Covid pneumonia and infection from Covid positive mothers after the third trimester. Ninety per cent cases are likely to be asymptomatic, 5 percent moderate and 1-2 percent pneumonia," he added.

Dr Prabhu said that Covid care hospitals, pediatric ICUs and high dependency units were being set up in the state in view of a possible third wave. According to him, home care would be done through telecommunication in fever clinics.

Dr Yewale said parents should take their children to a doctor as soon as the latter have a fever.

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