Covid Third Wave Looms, May Peak In October, Hit Kids: MHA Panel To PMO

A panel selected by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) has warned of an imminent third wave of Covid, which is expected to peak around October and has asked for increased medical preparedness for children who are at risk in the same manner that adults are.

According to the committee's assessment, "paediatric facilities — doctor, staff, equipment like ventilators, ambulances, etc. are nowhere near what may be necessary for the event a big number of children become infected," which was put up on the orders of the home ministry. The PMO has been notified of the report's arrival.

Panellists: States should increase the number of Covid child care centres.

Vaccination should be prioritised among children with co-morbidities, with a special focus on those with disabilities, according to the paper. Even with "tight interventions," the top of the third wave is projected by late October, according to specialists who agree with previous assessments from various organisations. Several studies have speculated on the possibility of a third wake, but these are only guesses.

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The vulnerability of children who have not been vaccinated has been debated, with most experts agreeing that they are unlikely to get severe infections even if they can spread the virus to others. According to estimations, the third wave, which is thought to be the outcome of increased mobility, may be less severe than the second.

The study, titled "Third Wave Preparedness: Children Vulnerability and Recovery," looked into the likelihood of Covid harming children as well as the necessary pandemic strategies.

According to the committee's recommendations, "a comprehensive home care model," "rapid increases in paediatric medical capacities," and "prioritising mental health issues among children" should be prioritised." It has proposed that Covid wards be structured in such a way that children's attendants or parents can safely stay with them throughout their rehabilitation.

Experts are concerned about an 82 per cent doctor deficit in primary health centres and a 63 per cent vacancy rate in community health centres.

It was noted that 60 per cent to 70 per cent of children hospitalised due to Covid had comorbidities during the second wave and that their low immunity was the primary cause of many of them developing MIS-C (Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome), a "rare but serious condition" that developed after Covid recovery. In preparation for the third wave, we must take proactive measures today. States may begin to improve paediatric Covid care facilities for treatment, ICU, paediatric ambulance, medicine, and paediatricians, according to Santosh Kumar, the committee's coordinator and professor head of governance and public policy at NIDM.

The third wave could compound the problem because of "new and more aggressive mutant strains of SARS Cov-2 that can circumvent immunity from earlier infections and, in some circumstances, even common vaccines."According to the research, this has pushed the target immune population for obtaining herd immunity from 80% to 90%. The "slow deployment" of vaccines, which is considered as the only route out of this pandemic, is a source of concern in the report. According to the report, India's vaccination rate is 9%, compared to 52 per cent (completely vaccinated) in the United States.