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

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

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