Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a Group of specialists in Paediatrics to frame protocols and handhold private hospitals for enhancing paediatric beds and treatment protocols, while rolling out a detailed action plan in preparation of a possible third wave of Covid in the state.The Group will comprise specialists from GMCs, Department of Health, PGI & IAP Punjab Chapter, said the Chief Minister, while directing the Health and Medical Education departments to put into action a comprehensive plan to deal with the next wave, if and when it comes.Chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister took stock of the preparations under way for the 3rd wave and ordered creation of storage capacities for Oxygen for a minimum of three days in all Government Medical Colleges, with piped O2 to be made available in all government hospitals. At least 375 MT Oxygen should be available with the state at any given time, he said, stressing the need to prepare for peak supply logistics.Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that the state had received 500 Oxygen concentrators today against the World Bank Loan for Water Surface Supply projects, and another 2500 were on the way.
Captain Amarinder also directed all DCs to identify Paediatric Covid L2 and L3 Beds in Private Sector (at least 1000), with experts to advise the district administration on Paediatric Treatment Protocol/ Medicines. He asked the officials to increase the number of RTPCR machines for Covid testing of children, besides increasing ICU and Oxygen capacities, augmenting infrastructure and manpower, and increasing surveillance and testing across the state.Amid indications of the damage caused by 3rd wave in some countries as much as 25% higher than the 2nd wave, the Chief Minister ordered creation of surge capacity, with plugging of gaps, if any, in equipment, recruitment of doctors, specialists, nurses, technicians etc. The SOPs received from the Paediatric Association of India should be strictly adhered to, said the Chief Minister, directing health experts to put into action a comprehensive plan to deal with a third surge of the pandemic.Stocks of consumable and medicines should be maintained and capacity building of existing staff should be undertaken to ensure paediatric patient care in the next wave, directed the Chief Minister. He also directed continues surveillance in both urban and rural areas, along with whole genome sequencing testing must continue. Sero-survey should also be taken up from time to time, he added.