Shimla: Anticipating the third wave of Covid-19, Himachal Pradesh is bracing up to protect vulnerable children and to address pediatric Covid case management in the state.

A Spokesperson of the Health Department informed here today that keeping in mind the anticipated third wave of the Covid pandemic, the protocol for the management of the pediatric group has already been shared with the Districts and the Medical Colleges on 3 May 2021. However, the Health Department is taking serious and focused steps to ensure that the vulnerable children are taken care of, in this pandemic, he added.

“It was being ensured that SNCUs, Pediatric HDUs, NICU, PICUs must be made functional on priority basis.

All the Chief Medical Officers, Principals of Medical Colleges and Medical Superintendents of District Hospitals and Civil Hospitals and Medical Colleges have been directed to ensure the availability of pediatric ward and newborn units in dedicated Covid Hospitals either by augmentation of existing facilities or ear-marking the beds in existing facilities,” he said.

It shall be ensured that these beds shall be preferably supported by central oxygen supply, he said, adding that presently there are 224 SNCU beds in 16 facilities across the state.

“In addition, four New Born Stabilization Unit at DDU Shimla, ZH Dharamshala, CHC Nalagarh and CH Nurpur, District Kangra are shortly going to be upgraded to Sick Newborn Care Unit. Also, there are seven Pediatric High Dependency Units in the State which have 34 beds,” said the spokesperson.

He further added that directions have been given to make an appropriate emergency triage and treatment services for newborn and paediatric patients at all levels.

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