The country's apex child rights body on Thursday said with a third COVID-19 wave projected to hit the country, the Centre and states should ramp up their preparations to protect children and neonatals.
In a letter to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting a slightly greater number of younger people and a third wave is projected to hit the country, will affect children too.
Underlining the urgent need to reorganise the National Emergency Transport Service (NETS), Kanoongo requested the health ministry to issue necessary directions for the service and ambulances to prepare specifically for neonatals and children.
In a letter to health secretaries of states and union territories, the chairperson said keeping in view the high risk involved for infants and children in the projected third wave, the NCPCR has developed a format to collect information on functioning of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and special newborn care units (SICUs).
"For this, all states/UTs, health and family welfare departments are requested to assign a nodal officer who would be responsible for providing data of the state on the online form," he said.
"This information would enable the commission in ensuring the better implementation of facilities and strengthening of each NICU/PICU/SNCU of state/UTs, Kanoongo said.
It should be ensured that the requisite information is verified and sent to the NCPCR within seven days from the date of receipt of this letter, he said.
In another letter, Kanoongo asked Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava to share with the NCPCR protocols and guidelines developed by the institute for treatment and clinical management of children with COVID-19.
These protocols/guidelines shall be further shared by NCPCR with the State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) for dissemination in states/UTs, he said in the letter.
Further keeping in view, the high risk involved for children in the projected third wave of COVID-19, Kanoongo also asked the health ministry to apprise the commission, if additional protocols or guidelines have been developed by the ICMR for prevention and clinical management of children.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.