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COVID’s third wave will be hitting children more: Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Experts believe while the first wave affected the elderly the most, younger people have been infected in the second wave and the third wave could be deadly for children.

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Migrant children wait to board a bus for the railway station in Karad, Maharashtra, on Sunday. | Image Courtesy: PTI

Looking at the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19, Maharashtra is setting up child Covid centres and a pediatric task force. It is believed that the third wave is likely to be worse for children, the state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told reporters, “The third wave could be noxious for small children and toddlers below 18. We are in the process of making child Covid Care Centres (CCC). Children need different ventilator beds and other medical equipment,” Tope further said adding that these steps were discussed in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

“A pediatric task force will be made. The third wave will be hitting small kids more. If a child is positive, they can’t stay alone. The mother has to be there with the child. Also, children need special pediatric ventilators which need to be procured,” Tope added.

The Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, K Vijay Raghavan, said the third wave of the virus is inevitable “Covid infected children needed to be with their mothers and required special pediatric ventilators, the minister pointed out. “Phase three is inevitable given the higher levels of circulating virus, but it is not clear on what time-scale this phase three will occur. We should be prepared for new waves,” he said.

Experts believe while the first wave affected the elderly the most, younger people have been infected in the second wave and the third wave could be deadly for children.

There are no vaccines for children in India. Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved for children in Canada and the US is also likely to clear the Covid shot for children above 12.

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