Gearing up for third Covid wave, Bengal hospitals prepare diet chart for kids


The West Bengal government has decided to modify the paediatric diet charts in its hospitals in anticipation of a third Covid wave.

“Anticipating a third wave of Covid-19 the government of West Bengal has decided to augment paediatric Covid facilities across the state. As the dietary supplement is an essential part of the Covid pandemic treatment and management, the government has decided to modify the existing diet plan particularly for paediatric population,” said an order issued by the state government on Wednesday.

A senior health department official said, “Two separate diet charts, one for kids between 1 and 5 years and another for children between 5 and 12 years of age have been drawn. The menu, comprising bread, egg, fruits, milk, rice, dal, vegetables, and fish is almost the same. The quantity is a little more for the latter age group.”

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As the child’s mother or caregiver would need to stay in the hospital, they would also get a full diet as recommended by the health department. All state-run hospitals have been asked to follow the diet with immediate effect. The state is anyway setting aside dedicated paediatric intensive care units and sick neonatal units for Covid cases among children and infants respectively.

The West Bengal government has set up a 10-member expert committee comprising doctors from state-run hospitals to tackle the purported third wave of Covid-19.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting of the Global Advisory Body, set up the government last year to advise the state on pandemic issues, on August 5. The body is headed by Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee.

This comes at a time when the daily count of Covid cases shot up to 815 on Wednesday after remaining below the 700-mark for two consecutive days. While Kolkata and its two adjoining districts of South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas account for nearly one-third of the total cases, Darjeeling, with 62 new cases recorded the maximum number of fresh cases on the day.

At Kalimpong in north Bengal, which shares its border with Sikkim, at least six areas have been identified as high risk zones. The Himalayan state reported at least 97 cases of the Delta variant. The district administration of Darjeeling has made it mandatory for all people entering West Bengal from Sikkim to produce either a Covid-19 negative RT-PCR test report or a double vaccination certificate.

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