Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on June 1 announced that paediatric wards will be set up in all district hospitals as per the recommendations from the stateās COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), to prepare for a possible third wave. Interacting with media in Bengaluru, after a meeting with senior officials to take stock of the COVID-19 situation of the state, Sudhakar said that dedicated paediatric wards with 70-80 beds are to be arranged in all the state-run hospitals in the 31 districts.
The minister added that additional paediatricians and nursing staff will be recruited based on the need. Sudhakar also said that a special training session for MBBS graduates and other medical staff on how to treat children with COVID-19 will be conducted through Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
The minister further said that seven genomic labs across the state will be studying mutated variants found in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. These labs will be set up in medical colleges, Wenlock Hospital, Mangaluru and Vijayapura District Hospital. The study will help understand the virus better so that better treatment and medication protocol can be developed based on the nature of the virus, said the minister.
While answering questions regarding vaccination in the state, the minister said that an additional consignment of 1.64 lakh doses of Covaxin was received by Karnataka. The stock available will be used to vaccinate those above 45 years of age who are due for the second dose. The vaccine will be eventually made available to all once the supply increases, Sudhakar added.
As of June 1, the state had cumulatively vaccinated over 13 lakh beneficiaries in the state. Meanwhile, 61,040 beneficiaries over 45 years have been vaccinated with both doses in Bengaluru since the vaccination drive was started on January 16, according to the state health bulletin. Sudhakar also said that the government will initiate action against those vaccination centres that deny people vaccines despite confirmation of slots.
With regards to the treatment of mucormycosis (black fungus), Sudhakar said that the state is procuring more vials of the antifungal drug, Liposomal Amphotericin B, which is used to treat mucormycosis. Karnataka has reported 1,370 cases of fungal infection to date. The first case of children contracting black fungus was reported in Karnataka earlier this week.