The Karnataka government Tuesday announced that it will set up special paediatric Covid-19 care centres in all 30 districts of the state. The government will also take measures to rehabilitate children up to the age of 18 years orphaned by the pandemic, Woman and Child Welfare Minister Shashikala Jolle said.
“The government is ready to rehabilitate children who were orphaned by the second wave of Covid-19. Children need not be afraid as we have decided to set up separate quarantine facilities as well as hostels for those up to 18 years,” Jolle confirmed.
#Karnataka to rehabilitate children orphaned due to Covid-19. “We have also identified different circumstances in which children deprived of parental care require intervention,” WCD Minisyer @ShashikalaJolle said. @IndianExpress (1/2)
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) May 18, 2021
The Minister added that the Department also identified four different circumstances in which children might need intervention. “The conditions spelt out by the department include the demise of both parents due to Covid-19, if both parents are hospitalised, if one of them (either father/mother) dies due to the infection or if one is dead and the other lives in a different area,” Jolle explained.
Earlier last week, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) urged the government to ramp up childcare infrastructure ahead of a possible third wave, during which children are predicted to be most vulnerable as per experts.
Jolle added, “Our department is already taking various measures to mitigate the challenge following expert warning that the Covid-19 third wave would affect young children more.”
The government is also establishing separate paediatric Covid-19 care centres in all 30 districts for asymptomatic and special care for children with mild to moderate symptoms. “Steps will be taken to distribute nutritious food at the doorsteps of anganwadi beneficiaries while providing special care to children at anganwadis, pregnant women and mothers requiring postnatal care,” Jolle said.
Recently, the state government appointed IAS officer K P Mohan Raj — Inspector General of Registration and Commissioner of Stamps — as the nodal officer to identify such children. As per an order issued by N Manjunatha Prasad, member secretary of the executive committee of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, the nodal officer has also been directed to make immediate and long-term arrangements to ensure care to such children.