Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has decided to rehabilitate children up to the age of 18 years orphaned by the second wave of coronavirus and set up special pediatric COVID care centres in 30 districts of the state.
“The government is ready to rehabilitate children who were orphaned by the second wave of COVID-19. Children need not be afraid as we have decided to set up separate quarantine facilities as well as hostels for those up to 18 years,” Woman and Child Welfare Minister Shashikala Jolle said at a press conference.
Jolle said the government has set up a helpline ‘1098’ and a senior IAS officer Mohan Raj has been appointed as nodal officer to ensure that such children are taken care of.
According to her, the department has identified four circumstances where children are deprived of parental care and require the department’s intervention.
These are, if father and mother die of COVID, if both father and mother are hospitalised, if any one of them dies of COVID or if one is dead and another lives in a different area.
Jolle said many schemes have been introduced for children orphaned by COVID such as special quarantine facilities for different age groups.
The department has also come up with special scheme for the treatment of COVID infected children.
These are establishing separate Pediatric COVID care centres in 30 districts for the asymptomatic and special care for children with mild to moderate symptoms.
She also said steps have been taken for the distribution of special nutritious food to households of Anganwadi beneficiaries and special care to Anganwadi children, pregnant and postnatal care of mothers.
Regarding the department’s preparations to deal with a possible third wave, she said, “After the experts warned that the third wave will affect young children, our department is already taking steps to mitigate the challenge.”
According to health department officials, this year over 15 children died due to COVID in the second wave.
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