Rashmi Ranjan

In the wake of possible third wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Odisha government on Thursday directed the concerned officials to constitute district-level task forces for effective monitoring and supervision of paediatric Covid care in the State.

“The children in age group of 0-18 are yet to be vaccinated. As per the prediction of the public health experts, there is possibility of increased incidence of COVID-19 cases amongst the population of this age group in the eventuality of a third wave of COVID-19. The State needs to be in full preparedness for capacity building for managing high number of cases expected during the predicted third wave of the pandemic,” a notification issued by the State Health and Family Welfare department read.

The department also issued certain measures for paediatric Covid care in the State: 

• For effective monitoring and supervision, a District Level Task Force shall be constituted under the Chairmanship of Collector and DM and other members being CDM & PHO, District Public Health Officers, Sr. Paediatric Specialist. Anesthesia Spl., WHO/UN officials and any other co-opted members. This committee will regularly do the gap analysis, monitor & take steps for remedial action. The respective Collectors of the Districts shall take a meeting in this regard within a week. 

• All paediatric cases of ILI/SARI need to be listed and swab collection of children of 0-18 age group shall be ensured for RT-PCR testing to screen out suspected positive cases in all health care facilities across the State. 

• Non-availability of RT-PCR report will not be a criteria for not admitting a sick deserving patient. 

• 50% of existing ICU, PICU, NICU may be isolated and earmarked for use to manage Paediatric COVID cases. Steps will also be taken for upgrading the capacity.