Woman and Child Development Minister Shashikala Jolle said steps are being taken to ensure that medicines, masks and ventilators for children are procured.

As a part of preparations for a possible third wave of the pandemic, the Karnataka government Monday announced that Covid care centres exclusively for children will be set up in all taluks across the state.

After reviewing preparations made by the state government, Women and Child Development Minister Shashikala Jolle said, “In these Covid care centres, infected children will be allowed to stay with their mothers. Special centres will also be set up for children who are differently abled.”

She added that these centres will be set up in community halls and resting places in all urban districts like Bengaluru.

The minister was speaking to reporters after a meeting convened with elected representatives, officials of the Bengaluru district administration and officers of various departments to discuss strategy and measures adopted to mitigate the adverse effects of a possible third wave.

The minister added that the government was already taking steps to ensure paediatricians, who can work in these Covid care centres, are being identified and medicines, masks and ventilators for children are being procured.

Responding to queries on facilities that are already in place, Jolle added, “As many as 1,419 beds, including 141 ventilator beds and 430 HDU beds, have been earmarked for children within BBMP limits in Bengaluru.”

She also noted that suggestions made by experts to start a Covid care centre for children in Bengaluru city would be taken up with the CM for further discussion.

“Over 2.38 lakh children have been infected so far. These include 67,687 children in the age group of 0-9, and 1,70,565 children in the 9-18 age group. A total of 51 children succumbed to the infection in Bengaluru alone,” she said.

Further, the WCD minister added that 30 children had participated in the vaccine trials conducted in the state so far. “Vaccination drives for children may begin only based on the outcome of these trials happening here and in other parts of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will take a suitable call on when we can begin inoculating children,” she said.

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