West Bengal to begin vaccination drive for mothers to keep children safe ahead of possible third COVID wave

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday (June 23) announced that the state will begin a vaccination drive for mothers, of children below the age of 12 years, on priority to keep young children safe ahead of the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19.

The West Bengal government is not leaving anything to chance and has set up a high-level committee to effectively control the third wave of coronavirus that is likely to hit the country in the next two months. According to IANS, the committee had its first official meeting on Wednesday to formulate a strategy to develop infrastructure and also determine the treatment procedure so that the disease can be controlled from the beginning.

On Monday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee underlined that the overall COVID-19 situation in Bengal has improved as she urged people to take all forms of measures to protect children amid warning by experts that the third wave of the pandemic may pose a greater risk to them. She said that the number of beds in the paediatric divisions of hospitals has been increased.

“The COVID-19 situation in Bengal has improved a lot. The positivity rate, which rose to 32 per cent during the eight-phase elections in the state, has now come down to four per cent,” Mamata was quoted as saying by PTI on Monday. In some districts, the number of new cases in a day has dipped to seven or eight, the CM said.

A senior official said the government is planning to allot more beds for women in hospitals, as it makes arrangements to combat the third wave. It has also decided to increase inpatient COVID-19 facilities for children following suggestions from an expert committee, the official said.

Around 10,000 general beds have been earmarked for mild and moderate paediatric cases in the age group of 90 days to 12 years, and 20 per cent of special newborn care unit beds has been set aside for one day to 90-day-old COVID-19 patients, he added.

West Bengal’s COVID-19 tally on Tuesday (June 22) rose to 14,85,438 as 1,852 more people tested positive for the infection.

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