Panel to move Assam DCs for urgent steps to take care of COVID-infected kids
The Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) has decided to write to deputy commissioners and joint directors of health to urgently take measures to take care of children getting infected with COVID-19.
Reports of deaths of children infected with COVID-19 in Dibrugarh and infections among several children and adolescents below 18 years, especially in districts such as Sonitpur, Nagaon, Dibrugarh and Jorhat during the second wave, have evoked concern across sections even as the health department maintains that it is prepared to tackle any adverse situation.
Rupa Hazarika, a member of Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), visited Tezpur Medical College and Hospital (TMCH) in Sonitpur district on Sunday and enquired about 11 children admitted thereafter testing positive for the virus.
During her visit to TMCH, Hazarika took stock of the condition of the children and the facilities being provided to the affected children.
Since there are media reports that some more children have been infected with COVID-19 in other districts, Hazarika informed that ASCPCR would soon write to all deputy commissioners and joint directors of health to urgently take measures to take care of such children and be prepared to tackle any adverse situation.
In a meeting with the Sonitpur deputy commissioner, additional deputy commissioners, district children protection officer (DCPO), chairperson and members of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and Juvenile Justice Board, Sonitpur, she emphasised having necessary facilities in the hospitals and at TMCH to tackle the further spread of COVID-19 among children.
She also stressed having special facilities to take care of children with special needs, who may get infected with COVID-19 in future.
Reportedly, children as young as six months to 14 years are getting infected by the COVID-19 virus. Most of these cases have been reported from the “red” districts where COVID-19 cases have not declined over the past couple of months.
Health department sources in Nagaon district have informed that over the past two weeks, as many as 172 cases of children being infected with the virus have been reported from different hospitals in the district.
"Many children are getting infected through lactating mothers. Most of the children are asymptomatic and we are providing medicine and all necessary care to them," said a health official.
According to an assessment of the state health department, about 28,000 children and adolescents below 18 years of age have been infected with COVID-19 since the first wave, with a majority infected falling between the 10 to 18 years age category.
The Assam government had earlier this month decided to set up paediatric ICUs in all medical colleges and district hospitals of the state.
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