Maharashtra is setting up child Covid centres and a pediatric task force to prep for a third wave of infections that is likely to be worse for children, the state Health Minister said today.
"The third wave could be deadly for small children below 18. We are in process of making child Covid care centers. Children need different ventilator beds and other medical equipment," Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told reporters.
Covid-infected children needed to be with their mothers and required special pediatric ventilators, the minister pointed out.
"A pediatric task force will be made. As 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," Mr Tope said, adding that these steps were discussed in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Earlier this week, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, K Vijay Raghavan, said the third wave of the virus is inevitable.
"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.