Punjab to frame protocols for Covid paediatric management

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a group of specialists will frame protocols and handhold private hospitals for enhancing paediatric beds and treatment protocols, while rolling out a detailed action plan in preparation for a possible third wave of Covid-19 infections.

Chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, Singh took stock of the preparations underway for the third wave and ordered creation of storage capacities for oxygen for a minimum of three days in all government medical colleges, with piped oxygen to be made available in all government hospitals.

At least 375 metric tonne oxygen should be available with the state at any given time, he said, stressing the need to prepare for peak supply logistics.

Punjab Chief Secretary, Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that the state had received 500 oxygen concentrators on Monday against the World Bank loan for water surface supply projects, and another 2,500 were on the way.

Amarinder Singh also directed all Deputy Commissioners to identify paediatric Covid L2 and L3 beds in the private sector (at least 1,000) with experts to advise the district administration on paediatric treatment protocol and medicines.

He asked the officials to increase the number of RT-PCR machines for Covid testing of children, besides increasing ICU and oxygen capacities, augmenting infrastructure and manpower, and increasing surveillance and testing across the state.

Amid indications of the damage caused by the third wave of Covid-19 in some countries being as much as 25 per cent higher than the second wave, the Punjab Chief Minister ordered creation of surge capacity with plugging of gaps, if any, in equipment, recruitment of doctors, specialists, nurses, technicians, etc.