Virologist Dr V Ravi has warned that the third wave of Covid-19 will hit children in a big way and it is time for both the Centre and state governments to chalk out strategies and gear up to handle the situation between October and December.
“The government should take some important policy decisions on what is their approach towards starting school the next academic year, considering that the next wave will affect children. Kids will also be more vulnerable because they are not vaccinated. Are we going to test them regularly for early detection like how the western countries do?” said Ravi.
Ravi, who is also the member of Karnataka’s Covid technical advisory committee, stressed on the need to ramp up medical infrastructure to treat Covid-infected children. “We don’t have enough paediatric Covid care wards and intensive care units for children. This has to be urgently scaled up.”
Ravi also suggested the government take some stern steps to prevent crowding of people. “Some bold steps must be taken. Any form of political and religious gatherings should not be allowed. All superspreader events like weddings must be banned completely. We cannot go on in a full-scale prioritising livelihood and economies. We have to be extremely guarded,” he said.
On what went wrong in managing the second wave, he said governments did not listen to experts. “The way India handled the first wave was commendable, but thereafter experts’ warning of a harsher second wave was not taken seriously... Covid cannot be handled well without scientific, data-driven interventions.”