With more than 8,000 children catching the coronavirus in the month of May in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar, the state has started taking extra steps to minimise the impact of a possible third wave of COVID-19 that may affect children more.
In Maharashtra’s Sangli city, a COVID-19 ward is being prepared especially for children. Currently, five children are being treated here and the facility is being prepared for more patients.
“We have prepared this Covid ward for kids so that if and when the third wave comes, we are prepared. And kids will not feel they are in a hospital but instead will feel they are in a school or a nursery,” corporator Abhijit Bhosale said.
Authorities were alarmed when they found at least 8,000 children and teenagers tested positive for the coronavirus in Ahmednagar this month, accounting for about 10 per cent of the cases in the district.
The district administration is reaching out to paediatricians to make sure they are prepared for the third wave.
“In May alone 8,000 kids got positive. This is worrying,” Ahmednagar district chief Rajendra Bhosale said.
MLA Sangram Jagtap said, “During the second wave, there was a shortage of beds and oxygen. So, we need to avoid that during the third wave and hence need to fully prepare ourselves.”
The state government does not want to take any chances, with sources saying they expect a possible third wave could hit at the end of July or early August, giving authorities about two months to prepare.
Maharashtra was among the first states to be swept by the ferocious second wave of the coronavirus in India, which emerged in February, overwhelming hospitals and leaving patients and their families struggling to find treatment, medical oxygen and drugs.
The central government’s top scientific adviser Dr K VijayRaghavan had said earlier this month that a third wave of the coronavirus is “inevitable”.