Maharashtra trains thousands of health workers to care for children affected by COVID-19 as a front line of defense.
The western state of India, Maharashtra, is training thousands of health workers to care for children affected by COVID-19 as the first line of defense against floods involving new variants, health officials said. experts.
The state, where Bombay’s financial capital is located, was hardest hit by a devastating second wave of infections in April and May that killed hundreds of thousands and continues to report a quarter of all new cases. across the country.
It has re-imposed sidewalks to curb the rapidly expanding delta variant, which has sparked new outbreaks globally, even when daily national accounts are minimal in nearly two months, allowing some states to reopen businesses.
“We are training thousands of health workers, who are often the first point of contact for families, on how to treat COVID care in children,” Rehas Suhas Prabhu, head of the news agency, said on Tuesday. of the state pediatric working group.
While there are no data showing that children are more vulnerable, a government survey in Mumbai from April to mid-June showed the presence of viral antibodies in at least half of those under 18 years of age.
“Experts indicate that a considerable number of children are likely to be infected in the third wave,” said government adviser Dr Subhash Salunke.
Pediatric critical care continued to be a “weak link” in the health care system, the former World Health Organization official told Reuters.
Some experts warn that a third wave could affect children, and Bombay has teamed up with other cities to build huge pediatric wards in preparation.
“This is good news because it shows that at least half of the population under the age of 18 is protected against COVID-19, but we will make sure we do not lower our guard,” said Suresh Kakani, the additional Bombay municipal commissioner who oversaw poll.
It is estimated that 1.5 million of Bombay’s 12.8 million population are under 18 years of age. Bombay would repeat the survey every three months, Kakani said.
India, which uses home-produced doses of Covishield in AstraZeneca and its own-produced Covaxin, has not yet approved any vaccines for children.
Maharashtra, with a population of over 114 million, is one of the most populous states in the country and has reported 50 cases of the new Delta Plus variant which India has designated as worrying.
It is a derivation of the Delta variant, highly infectious, which caused a rise in the cases of April and May that overflowed the health centers and flooded the crematoria.
Daily coronavirus cases have been declining across the country over the past three weeks.
Of the 400,000 daily cases in May, new daily infections currently stand at 37,566, according to health ministry data on Tuesday. The figure for the South Asian nation is 30.31 million, with a death toll of 397,637.
But several states that called for criticism for how they handled the second wave have shared plans on how they would handle any third wave of infections.