Third Wave Of COVID-19 Likely To Attack Children, Vaccinate The Parents Quickly: Dr Devi Shetty Of Narayana Health

Third Wave Of COVID-19 Likely To Attack Children, Vaccinate The Parents Quickly: Dr Devi Shetty Of Narayana Health

According to Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health, it is imperative that the country starts preparing for the shielding children from the next wave of COVID-19 as the virus is predominantly likely to target them since most adults may already be infected or immunised by then
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Third Wave Of COVID-19 Likely To Attack Children, Vaccinate The Parents Quickly: Dr Devi Shetty Of Narayana HealthVaccinating young parents may reduce the chances of children being infected, says Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health on how to prepare for the next wave of COVID-19
Highlights
  • If parents are vaccinated, low chance of children getting infected: Expert
  • During the first wave, COVID attacked mainly the senior citizens
  • The second wave is attacking a large number of young people

New Delhi: As the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the country, experts have raised apprehensions about another virulent wave that may hit the country by the end of this year and is more likely to affect children. NDTV spoke to Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health, to learn about how to prepare for the possible next wave and how to shield children from its attack. Dr Shetty has been recently appointed as the Chairman of the task force to prepare for the third wave by the Government of Karnataka.

Also Read: Singapore Warns New Virus Strains Infecting More Children, Shuts Schools

According to Dr Shetty, the experience of the United States of America and European countries indicates that there is a strong possibility of the third wave in India and the virus is behaving almost similarly in these regions. He said,

We are most likely to face the third wave and there is a possibility that it will predominantly target the children. Mainly because most adults may already be infected or immunised. So, coronavirus has to find a new host and so the most vulnerable group in large number are the children.

He added that children, especially those below the age of 12 will be the worst affected. There are approximately 34.7 crore children in the country in the age group 0-14 years as of March 1 as projected by the National Commission on Population under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in its report ‘Population Projections For India And States 2011-2036’.

The first wave primarily attacked the senior citizens with comorbidities like kidney disorders, diabetes, cardiac issues among others. The second wave targeted the large of young breadwinners of the family. Now the next vulnerable group are children. The virus keeps changing its approach, said Dr Shetty.

Need For A Separate Treatment Protocol For Children

Dr Shetty highlighted that managing children with COVID-19 in ICU (intensive care unit) is completely different from handling adult patients. Adults can take care of themselves, provided they are given the required support like oxygen supply, he added. However, children cannot be left alone with the nurses and doctors, Dr Shetty highlighted, adding that there is a need for a separate treatment protocol for children. He said,

Unlike children in hospital for heart issue or some operation, children with COVID-19 are not sedated. They need to breathe. And when they are restless with low oxygen, they throw the mask. Now, continuously for 24 hours for many days, nobody can manage these children other than their parents. Children are not mini-adults and COVID care for children will be entirely different from the treatment given to the adults.

Also Read: Opinion: Safeguarding The Health Of Mothers During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Immediate Measures To Help Protect Children

Dr Shetty has recommended that to prepare for the next wave, it is important to vaccinate parents of young children within the next three months. He said that vaccinating young parents may reduce the chances of children being infected. He added,

In case children get infected, a parent needs to stay with them in the hospital and you cannot have a man or a woman to be in a COVID ICU without being vaccinated. Vaccination takes time. You need to give the first dose, then the second dose and after almost two weeks of that you get the adequate immunity. We need to prepare the parents to get into the ICU if required.

He stressed on manufacturing medicines like paracetamol in bulk well ahead of the third wave to avoid the similar shortage of vital medicines that the country faced during the second wave. He said,

Shortage of medicines is going to happen. You just need half a million kids to fall sick and the medicines will disappear quickly from the market. It is because the stocks of medicines are made according to the current requirement and you can’t ramp up the production within few days.

Dr Shetty warned that more than anything else, the biggest problem in the coming days will be the shortage of nurses and doctors. He strongly recommended building an army of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to prepare for the third wave. He said,

In case of adults patients, just a few nurses taking care of more of them is manageable because adults can handle themselves. But if there are more children in a hospital along with their parents, they would constantly need good attention and so more nurses would be needed. Just 3-4 nurses with 20-25 patient cannot manage. So, we have to produce a few million doctors and nurses right away.

‘Save Our Children, Parents’ Plea To The Government

Expressing concerns about the projected third wave and its impact on children, many parents took to Twitter to urge the government and policymakers to take measures for ensuring the safety of children. Neha Srivastava, a mother, wrote on Twitter,

12 per cent of COVID-19 caseload amounts to children below 18. Vaccinate Indian Kids to save them.

Samita Kaur pointed out that children have been confined at homes for more than 400 days because of COVID-19. She said,

400 plus days of home confinement. Vaccinate Indian kids to help them cope with life.

Also Read: No Denial Of Vaccine, Essential Services For Lack Of Aadhaar, Says Unique Identification Authority of India

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,66,30,634Cases
5,80,25,717Active
11,47,82,895Recovered
38,22,022Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,66,30,634 and 38,22,022 have died; 5,80,25,717 are active cases and 11,47,82,895 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 3:30 am.

India

2,96,33,105 62,224Cases
8,65,43247,946Active
2,83,88,100 1,07,628Recovered
3,79,573 2,542Deaths
In India, there are 2,96,33,105 confirmed cases including 3,79,573 deaths. The number of active cases is 8,65,432 and 2,83,88,100 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,24,773 7,652

1,41,440 8,982

56,69,179 15,176

1,14,154 1,458

Karnataka

27,77,010 5,041

1,62,303 9,859

25,81,559 14,785

33,148 115

Kerala

27,48,204 12,246

1,12,792 1,456

26,23,904 13,536

11,508 166

Tamil Nadu

23,78,298 11,805

1,25,215 11,669

22,23,015 23,207

30,068 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,20,134 5,741

75,134 4,879

17,32,948 10,567

12,052 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,03,207 270

7,221 890

16,74,072 1,104

21,914 56

West Bengal

14,68,044 3,268

20,046 1,125

14,30,949 2,068

17,049 75

Delhi

14,31,498 228

3,078 148

14,03,569 364

24,851 12

Chhattisgarh

9,88,172 609

11,717 943

9,63,113 1,544

13,342 8

Rajasthan

9,50,133 172

5,619 848

9,35,658 1,006

8,856 14

Odisha

8,59,526 3,405

44,358 3,436

8,11,780 6,799

3,388 42

Gujarat

8,21,078 352

8,884 658

8,02,187 1,006

10,007 4

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,649 224

3,610 331

7,76,424 528

8,615 27

Haryana

7,66,357 228

3,703 374

7,53,584 564

9,070 38

Bihar

7,17,949 410

4,360 412

7,04,075 813

9,514 9

Telangana

6,06,436 1,556

19,933 528

5,82,993 2,070

3,510 14

Punjab

5,89,153 628

10,802 1,111

5,62,701 1,691

15,650 48

Assam

4,66,590 3,415

41,184 475

4,21,378 2,906

4,028 34

Jharkhand

3,43,793 184

2,646 416

3,36,058 596

5,089 4

Uttarakhand

3,37,449 274

3,642 266

3,26,822 515

6,985 25

Jammu And Kashmir

3,08,726 715

12,407 1,125

2,92,114 1,830

4,205 10

Himachal Pradesh

1,99,197 321

4,050 382

1,91,737 691

3,410 12

Goa

1,63,048 327

4,175 231

1,55,926 548

2,947 10

Puducherry

1,13,192 355

4,668 279

1,06,828 629

1,696 5

Chandigarh

61,200 40

486 21

59,917 58

797 3

Manipur

61,096 785

8,744 301

51,354 476

998 8

Tripura

60,385 536

4,886 65

54,870 596

629 5

Meghalaya

42,759 450

4,430 99

37,579 542

750 7

Arunachal Pradesh

31,938 290

2,849 40

28,934 326

155 4

Nagaland

23,854 101

2,972 229

20,423 327

459 3

Ladakh

19,649 38

552 20

18,898 57

199 1

Sikkim

18,659 209

3,239 67

15,136 273

284 3

Mizoram

15,899 268

3,637 45

12,191 312

71 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,473 9

61 2

10,408 7

4

Lakshadweep

9,297 61

484 36

8,768 96

45 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,280 11

105 4

7,049 15

126

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