An Indian virologist has warned the third wave of Covid-19 is expected to affect children in the country in a big way between October and November and both the Central and state governments should be ready to handle the situation.
The warning by virologist V Ravi came even as India's total daily fresh infection tally crossed the four lakh mark for the first time since the pandemic broke more than a year ago as the country reported 4.12 lakh cases, the Health Ministry data said this morning.
India also recorded 3,980 deaths in the last 24 hours, the highest in a day so far, pushing the total fatalities to 2, 30,168.
V Ravi, a member of Covid technical advisory committee in southern Indian state of Karnataka, one of the worst-hit, emphasized on the need to tone up medical infrastructure to treat Covid-infected children.
"We don't have enough pediatric Covid care wards and intensive care units for children. This has to be urgently scaled up," he said.
"The government should take some important policy decisions on what is their approach towards starting school the next academic year considering that the next wave will affect children, according to Ravi.
He said children would be more vulnerable because they are not vaccinated as of now by Covid vaccine.
The virologist also suggested the government take some stern steps to prevent crowding of people even after the end of the second wave.
Ravi, who is also the nodal officer for genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 virus in Karnataka, said the double mutant Indian variant (B.1.617) of the virus is spreading rapidly. "At the end of March, double mutant variant was detected in 5-10 per cent of community samples while it has now shot up to 45 per cent."