All the 10 sentinel sites (five labs and five hospitals) in the State from where samples are sent to the genome testing lab at NIMHANS for sequencing have been asked to sent paediatric samples for genomic confirmation from now onwards.
The follows the TAC’s recommendation that genome sequencing of paediatric COVID-19 samples should begin immediately in the State, in the wake of the third wave wherein children are likely to be hit the most.
V. Ravi, nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka, said genome testing of paediatric samples will help the State assess if there is an emerging mutant variant that has a preference for children. “This will also help us establish the virulence of new strains. Apart from samples of international travellers, of patients who participated in superspreader events, clusters of people with severe mortality, we have now asked labs to send paediatric samples too,” he said.
Following the State COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendations on preparedness for the third wave, the State government has also decided to set up paediatric wards in all district hospitals.
Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who chaired a meeting with senior officials from the department to review the situation, said dedicated 70-80 bed paediatric wards will be set up in district hospitals. “Additional paediatricians and nurses will be recruited. A training session will be conducted through RGUHS to train MBBS and other technical staff,” he told presspersons.
More Amphotericin vials
The Minister said the State will soon get more vials of Liposomal amphotericin B, the antifungal drug used in treatment of mucormycosis. “I am in constant touch with Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda in this regard,” he said.