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Sharmili Mallick

Amid concerns over the rising number of children getting infected with Covid-19 in Odisha, the Director, Health Services Bijay Mohapatra said even as the State has been detecting over 100 cases in the age group 0-18 every day since the last few days, there is no need to panic as equal number of children were getting infected during the first and second wave too.

“There have been cases of over 100 children getting infected in the past few days. However, the population in the age group of 0-18 years were equally infected during the first and second wave. Therefore, we need to take special protection to prevent the children and adolescents from being infected. This is in the backdrop of prediction by international and national health experts that more number of children will be infected in the third wave if the Covid numbers increase,” stated Mohapatra on the rising number of infection among children.

Mohapatra further stated that there is no need to panic and the Odisha government has already started preparations to deal with any kind of eventuality due to the third wave of Covid-19.

“Adequate number of general beds, oxygen support beds, ICU beds, HDU beds and ventilator support beds are ready at several district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), sub-divisional hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). Beds have also been reserved for children in dedicated Covid hospitals. The State government is monitoring the situation daily and steps are being taken as and when required,” the top State health official informed.

Speaking on the fatality graph due to Covid-19 in the State, Mohapatra said, “The deaths being reported every day are not the ones that happened in the last 24 hours. Those are audited figures and the data will be made public once the process is over. However, the number of daily deaths has considerably declined,” he added.

On the other hand, Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Dr CBK Mohanty said that the State Government is ready to meet any emergency amid predictions that children will be the most vulnerable during the third wave.

“Beds and ICUs have been reserved for the treatment of children and children as well as adolescents are being admitted whenever there is need for their treatment. In the first phase, around 3000 beds were marked for children and steps are being taken to increase the number,” said Mohanty.

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