With the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19 pandemic looming, the Maharashtra government is setting up a paediatric task force to create infrastructure for the treatment of children, health minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.
More than 1.30 lakh minors in the state have been infected by coronavirus during the second wave which began around February 15, as per official data.
"A paediatric task force is being set up to tackle the third wave of COVID-19 where children could also get infected.
"We will need new designs for isolation or treatment centres because generally, mother has to stay with the child," Tope told reporters.
The state is also facing a vaccine shortage and "we may have to rearrange the current vaccine distribution methods," he said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeraytoo said that the third wave, as per experts, could be dangerous for children, and therefore the government has decided to set up a task force of paediatric experts.
He was speaking after inaugurating a second oxygen plant at the district hospital in Sindhudurg virtually.
The chief minister also reiterated that Maharashtra has the capacity to inoculate 10 lakh persons daily but not enough vaccine doses.
There are six crore people in the age group of 18 to 44 years for whom the government needs 12 crore doses, and talks are on with vaccine manufacturers, Thackeray said.
"The possibility of getting the required quantity of vaccine doses is low, so we will need to upgrade our medical facilities to stop the third wave," the CM said.
People should not be complacent even if the pandemic is brought under control as the virus has become more infectious, he said.