Bengaluru: Karnataka Minister for Women, and Child Development Shashikala Jolle said on Monday that a separate COVID Care Centre (CCCs) will be set up for children at every taluk or assembly constituency level to effectively face the possible third wave of the pandemic.
“Department is making arrangements to identify children with symptoms during the possible third wave at every taluk or assembly constituency level, and on testing positive they will be shifted to COVID Care Centres for children at taluk and assembly level along with their mothers,” Jolle said.
The announcement comes amid concerns that children may be hit hard in case of a third wave. The Karnataka Minister added that a hospital in Bengaluru city will be identified as a special COVID hospital for children.
Speaking to reporters here, she said government hostels are being identified for this purpose, and separate girls and boys units will be set up for children above 10 years.
“Arrangements are being made at separate hostels for children who are differently abled,” she said, adding that in urban districts like Bengaluru, community halls and choultries will also be used for CCCs to quarantine children who are asymptomatic.
The Minister further said hospitals have been identified in Bengaluru city by authorities in case the children infected need hospitalisation, and 1,419 beds have already been reserved.
She said along with enhancing the number of beds, it has also been decided to identify a special COVID hospital for children in Bengaluru.
Citing reports and experts’ opinion that children may be infected in large numbers during the third wave, Jolle said children were infected during the first and the second wave as well and pointed out 2,38,252 children between the age group of 0-18 years were infected in Bengaluru urban.
Many of them were asymptomatic, very few were hospitalised and most recovered at the COVID care centre. As per the war room data, 51 children have died and several of them had comorbidities, she said.
Noting that during the second wave about 50 children have lost their parents in the state and have become orphans, she said most of them are from middle class and poor families, and assistance is being provided to them under the “Chief Minister’s Bala Seva Scheme”.
The Minister, in response to a question, said vaccination trials have been conducted on about 30 children and depending on the outcome of these trials, vaccination drives for children may start.
“The CM and PM will decide on it,” she said. On experts” opinion to reopen schools for children in a phased manner, she said in the backdrop of a possible third wave, she will discuss with the education minister in this regard.
(With inputs from PTI)