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Health dept adds beds in hospitals for children’s treatment

“As there has been a spurt in paediatric cases and in view of the anticipated third wave of Covid-19, we are taking elaborate steps in strengthening the paediatric beds, especially the critical care facility at the district level. A total of 2348 beds in the CCU, PICU, NICU are being kept ready by augmenting the existing infrastructure,”

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

With a slight surge in paediatric Covid-19 cases and the anticipated third wave of the coronavirus, the health department is adding more paediatric beds and laying special focus on the critical unit treatment facility at the district level across the state.

According to the director of health services at the health and family welfare department, Dr Ajoy Chakraborty, preparations were afoot to have around 1550 critical care unit (CCU) beds, and 528 paediatric intensive care unit
(PICU) beds (244 existing and 284 augmentations).

Dr Chakraborty said there will be 270 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds, of which 161 are functional and that 109 more beds will be added. “As there has been a spurt in paediatric cases and in view of the anticipated third wave of Covid-19, we are taking elaborate steps in strengthening the paediatric beds, especially the critical care facility at the district level. A total of 2348 beds in the CCU, PICU, NICU are being kept ready by augmenting the existing infrastructure,” Dr Chakraborty said.

He said a total of 160 sick newborn care unit beds had been augmented, while the number of functional SNCU beds was 2476. According to Dr Chakraborty, training for doctors, including paediatricians and general duty medical officers, nursing staff and other support staff had also been arranged for.

“The state government has already set up an experts’ committee with noted paediatricians and physicians both from medical colleges and the private sector to formulate the guidelines and circulate then,” he added.

The medicine list was also finalised by the committee and the process of procurement of those has been started, it is learnt. The health department has trained ASHA and ANM workers, while rural practitioners have been sensitized. They are searching for new cases every day. Capacity has further been built up for management and guidance of parents for home management of children, Dr Chakraborty said.

Meanwhile, the health department in the South Dinajpur district is set to add another 24 CCU beds in two hospitals there. The bed will be used for non-Covid patients. A 3000- square-foot area has been identified in the Balurghat and Gangarampur hospital for the same, it is learnt.

“As per instructions from the state health department, the district health department has started initiatives to develop the treatment facility in the district. Non-Covid patients, both children and adults, will be treated there,” a health department source in South Dinajpur district said today.

“The district health department had sent a proposal to the state government and 24 new CCU beds have been sanctioned,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health in South Dinajpur, Dr Sukumar Dey.