As the first line of defense, Maharashtra has trained thousands of health workers to care for children with COVID-19.
Health officials and experts say that the state of Maharashtra in western India is training thousands of health workers to take care of children infected with COVID-19 as the first line of defense against the surge of new variants.
The state, home to the financial capital of Mumbai, suffered a devastating second wave of infections in April and May, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and still reports a quarter of all new cases in the country.
It has re-implemented restrictions to control the rapid spread of Delta variants that have caused new epidemics around the world, even if the national daily statistics are at the lowest level in nearly two months, allowing some states to reopen businesses.
Suhas Prabhu, the head of the state’s pediatrics task force, told Reuters on Tuesday: “We are training thousands of health workers, who are usually the first contact of the family to let them know how to handle children’s COVID care.”
Although there is no data to show that children are more vulnerable, a government survey conducted in Mumbai from April to mid-June showed that at least half of children under the age of 18 have antibodies to the virus.
Government consultant Dr. Subhash Salunke said: “Experts say that in the third wave of infections there may be quite a lot of children infected.”
The former World Health Organization official told Reuters that pediatric intensive care is still a “weak link” in the healthcare system.
Some experts have warned that the third wave may attack children, and Mumbai has joined other cities to prepare large pediatric wards.
“This is good news because it shows that at least half of the population under the age of 18 are protected from COVID-19, but we will ensure that we do not relax our vigilance,” Suresh Suresh, another municipal commissioner in Mumbai. Kakani (Suresh Kakani) said that he is responsible for overseeing opinion polls.
An estimated 1.5 million of Mumbai’s 12.8 million people are under the age of 18. Kakani said Mumbai will repeat the investigation every three months.
India is using AstraZeneca’s domestic Covishield dose and indigenous Covaxin, but has not yet approved any childhood vaccines.
With a population of over 114 million, Maharashtra is one of the most populous states in the country and has reported 50 cases of the new Delta Plus variant designated as worrying in India.
It is a branch of the highly infectious Delta variant that caused a surge in cases in April and May, overwhelming medical institutions and flooding crematoriums.
For the past three weeks, the country’s daily coronavirus cases have been declining.
Data from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday showed that from 400,000 cases a day in May, there are now 37,566 new infections every day. The total number of this South Asian country is 30.31 million and the death toll is 397,637.
However, several states that have been criticized for handling the second wave of infections have been sharing their plans for how to deal with the third surge in infections.