Bhubaneswar: In view of reports of increasing instances of Covid-19 infection among children during the current wave of the pandemic and possibility of further spread as predicted by Public Health experts, Odisha on Saturday issued an advisory to prevent virus contamination in children.
The task force constituted by the State government has suggested that the following measures are to be followed to prevent the spread of the disease in community with special emphasis on children and also in school environment:
i. Covid Exposed Children
Children of Covid positive parents need to be isolated as much as possible taking care of the basic needs of the child. In hospital set up, sick babies delivered from the Covid positive mothers are to be isolated and be kept in New Born Stabilization Unit (NBSU)/SNCU till the mother becomes non-infectious. Babies born from Covid positive mothers need to be tested on the same day. Neonate found positive and sick need to be admitted to Covid hospital.
ii. Home Care
In case of Covid positive parents in home isolation, the child need to be separated from tho infected parents till they become non-infectious and other members of the family are required to take care of these children.
Passive and Active Surveillance ned to be done regularly for identification and isolation of Covid 19 cases. The principles of trace, test and treat must be followed. All cases with symptoms of ILI/SARI will be screened. Parents shall also be sensitized to report the same to the Health Care Workers / Health Care Centres.
iv. Covid Appropriate Behaviour
Since it has been observed that many children are getting affect. during the second wave of the pandemic all children above 2 years may be advised to wear masks before stepping out of their houses. Parents should ensure the same.
V. Covid Orphans (Social responsibility, Adoption)
The Stale government has issued dedicated helpline 1098. OSCPSR helpline 1800-345-4494 and State Covid helpline 104 for immediate tracking of children below the age of 18 years in vulnerable situation and for keeping them in the Child Care Institutions (CCI) setup by to the Department of Women and Child Development. Financial assistance to these CCIs has been ensured by the State govt
Vi. Covid Appropriate Nutrition
Continuation of breast feeding by Covid affected mothers and timely initiation of nutrient nich age-appropriate complementary feeding in children is to be ensured.
Vii. Awareness and Social Behaviour Change Communication
Specialised communication strategy is to be adopted for generating awareness and addressing the government efforts for care of the children age group.
Viii. Special considerations for school-going children
Deciding to close, partially close or reopen schools should be guided by a risk-based approach, to maximise the educational, well-being and health benefit for students, teachers. staff. a. the wider community. and help prevent a new outbreak of Covid-19 in the community.
Physical distancing outside and inside the classrooms must be followed as far as possible, while screening and care of sick students, teachers and other school staff must be ensured.
Moreover, schools should keep students and parents informed about the measures being implemented to ensure their collaboration and support.
Further more, the State government has also directed all the DCHC and DCH to follow the following guidelines.
- All the DCHC and DCH will create a designated "Paediatric Covid Wing" within the existing facilities to start with 15% of beds in the Isolation ward. HDU & ICUs may be kept reserved for this purpose to support neonates, infants and other paediatric age groups, which can be increased by addition of beds to this pool, depending on the future.
- Also earmarking of COVID19 newborn All in existing SNCU/ NICU may be done with strict isolation and infection prevention & control measures.
- Necessary logistics and consumables and other requirements to this effect are to be estimated and kept reserved and indents may be placed to OSMCL.
- Updated Protocol for Management of Covid - 19 in the Paediatric Age Group issued by Government of India. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Enclosed) shall be followed strictly.
- One of the parents may be allowed to remain as an attendant. This may be considered on case to case basis and the caregiver parent shall be adequately counsel. on Covid appropriate behaviour, such as personal hygiene, hand washing. use of hand sanitises and use of mask etc
- SVPGIP, Cuttack will act as the nodal centre for monitoring and provision of technical input to treating paediatrician in other parts of the State. The Superintendent of SVPGI, Cuttack will forma technical group, who will be available to treating Physician/ Paediatricians/Intensivists/Paediatric/ anaesthesiologist across the State over phone. mobile. WhetsApp for technical inputs. whenever needed
- All Private Hospitals and Hospitals run by Corporate Houses/NGOs/Missionaries, Philanthropic organisations are also required to create such facilities
- VIII. All hospitals dealing with Paediatric patients must create one dedicated counselling centres, where the parents can be counselled and be shared with information about the status of the patients
- To start with, arrangement will be made to manage by the existing trained staff available in the State. A pool of trained manpower will be created in all Medical Colleges Hospitals and DHHs by imparting handheld training in ICUs/PICUs/NICUs and after training, their services can be utilised