June 1, 2021 3:26:37 am
Anticipating the pandemic’s third wave, which is likely to affect children and slum dwellers in more numbers compared to the first two waves’ infection rate, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said a special training session for paediatricians will be held in all 24 administrative wards.
The training will be imparted on issues like screening children with Covid symptoms, their treatment and the like.
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had set up a task force under the chairmanship of Dr Suhas Prabhu in a bid to brace up for the next wave.
The BMC data from February to April has shown that Covid infection was high among young adults and children in the second wave compared to the first one.
The decision to set up the paediatric ward and launch training sessions have been taken in the light of experts’ warnings that predicted the third wave to strike in July.
On Monday, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani held a meeting with seven zonal deputy municipal commissioners and 24 ward officers to prepare for the third wave.
Kakani has directed all ward officers to prepare the training programmes, conducted by experts and monitored by task force members, in their respective wards. Each ward officer has been asked to prepare an action plan and submit it to the executive health officers.
Also, a dedicated paediatric Covid ward for children below 12 years will come up at the NESCO jumbo Covid centre in Goregaon East. The facility will be equipped with nearly 700 beds, including 300 for paediatric care. It will also include a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with 25 beds each.
Besides, 300 beds will be arranged in the paediatric ward and 50 in NICU and PICU for mothers whose children are being treated at the facility. The BMC is also planning to set up a crèche network for single mothers and working couples who are infected and need someone to look after their children.
During the second wave, over 90 percent of Covid cases remained concentrated in highrises, while slums accounted for just 10 percent of cases.
The BMC has also directed the ward officers to increase home visits by volunteers in each ward, especially in slums.
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