Parents of infected children may be allowed inside hospital


Govt. committee mulling to train healthcare workers to man ICUs

An expert committee formed by the Delhi government to formulate action plans ahead of a possible third wave is considering whether parents should be allowed inside hospitals if their children get admitted with COVID-19.

The committee is also considering a plan to train more healthcare workers to handle intensive care units (ICUs) for children, said sources privy to the development.

The committee is yet to make a final decision. It will come up with a report in the next two weeks regarding treatment procedure for children affected with COVID-19 and other preparations.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said children will need different types of equipment for treatment. He also said a paediatric task force was formed on Friday to give its recommendations separately.

On May 27, the Delhi government formed an expert committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Satya Gopal. The first objective of the committee was to devise a plan for handling a possible third wave with a focus on the “needs of children of the city”, as per an official order.

The committee met at least twice and also had a meeting with the Chief Minister on Friday.

“Members of the committee suggested that parents of children affected with COVID-19 should be allowed inside the hospitals. This is because a four or five-year-old child will keep crying if they do not see their parents. If allowed, the parents will have to wear PPE kits,” a source privy to the development said. The source said the committee is yet to fix an age cap but currently, the committee is considering to allow it for children below 14 years.

Members of the committee have also suggested that there should be a pool of trained personnel to work in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) in case of a third wave.

“Beds can be increased if there is a fresh wave, but doctors, nurses, and even nursing orderlies have to be trained to handle children. So, the committee is also mooting to train a group of healthcare workers before the third wave to deal with children,” another source said.

Panel on helpline

The committee has also discussed the possibility of a different helpline number or a separate section of the main helpline number, where family members can call in case of an emergency for children.

On Monday, the Delhi government said the department of women and child development along with the Health Department are together preparing a roadmap to tackle the third wave.



This article was originally published on The Hindu