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Center issues guidelines on COVID-19 in children

Most drugs for treating adults not recommended for kids

(Asian News Hub) – In anticipation of likely intermittent surges in the number of COVID-19 cases, the government has come out with guidelines for operationalising Covid-care services for children.

Drugs such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir and antibiotics like doxycycline and azithromycin prescribed for adult COVID-19 patients have not been recommended for treating children, according to a government guideline issued on Wednesday.

The recommendations include augmenting existing Covid care facilities to provide care to children with acute coronavirus infection.

According to it, once vaccines are approved for children, those with comorbid conditions having more severe manifestations of COVID-19 and poorer outcomes should be a priority group for immunisation.

About the treatment of children, the guidelines by the Union Health Ministry said most drugs used in adults such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir and antibiotics such as doxycycline or azithromycin have not been tested on children for prevention or treatment of Covid infection among them. “Therefore, these are not recommended in children.”

The guidelines stated it is anticipated that there may be intermittent surges in the number of coronavirus cases.

“A combined effort from the private and public sector is needed to handle any surge (in cases) in the future after the withdrawal of the lockdown, school reopening or as a third wave over the next three to four months. The basic principles of equity and dignity of care should be followed,” it said.

The guidelines said estimates for additional bed capacity for pediatric care may be calculated based on peak daily cases in different districts during the second wave of the COVID-19 infections.

From this, projections for pediatric cases and the number of admissions required can be derived, it said.

“It is desirable to augment the existing Covid-care facilities to provide care to children with acute Covid. This will need additional pediatric-specific equipment, infrastructure and pediatric formulations.

“Also, an adequate number of trained manpower — both doctors and nurses — should be provided. The health authorities should initiate capacity building programmes for appropriate pediatric care. In standalone paediatric hospitals, separate arrangements, for example, separate beds for paediatric Covid care need to be set up,” the guidelines said.It is desirable to designate specific areas in the Covid facilities for pediatric care and parents should be allowed to accompany the child there.

“For children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome who test negative for acute Covid, care has to be provided by the existing pediatric facilities. These facilities also need augmentation especially HDU and ICU services,” it said.

The document provides guidance about additional requirements for infrastructure, equipment and manpower.

Noting that a majority of children have asymptomatic or mild illness and can be managed at home by parents, it said treatment for symptomatic patients include paracetamol for fever and monitoring conditions such as measuring respiratory rates, difficulty in respiration, oral intake and oxygen saturation.

“In a community setting, ASHA and MPW should be involved for management of children at home and also monitor to assess the need for referral and admission,” the guidelines said.

The document stressed on imparting training to community health workers for picking up the red flag signs. Also, all stakeholders, including the community, should be educated by the information education communication.

For improving the quality of care and for capacity building, the guidelines recommended hand-holding of district hospitals and other facilities by medical colleges.

“A few centres may be designated as regional centres of excellence for Covid care and research. These centres can provide leadership in clinical management and training.

Telemedicine could be harnessed for reaching out to a large number of facilities,” it said.

To ensure data collection at all levels and transmission from community to higher centres, the document recommended that a national registry be launched for pediatric Covid.

“There is a need to encourage and facilitate research in the area of pediatric Covid and this could cover various aspects of management.

Similarly, issues of optimal treatment for MIS-C need to be addressed by clinical trials, such as comparison of low dose with high doses steroids, comparison of steroids with IVIG and others,” it added.

The guidelines said that based on sero-surveillance reports, COVID-19 infection in children above 10 years of age occurs in a similar frequency to that of adults, even though among the confirmed cases less than 12 per cent are individuals less than 20 years of age.

“Children have less severe disease than adults. In the majority, the infection is asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. It is uncommon to have moderate to severe Covid among healthy children,” it noted.

National

Incessant rain leaves 135 dead in Maharashtra

(Asian News Hub) – Last week, heavy rains in Maharashtra and Karnataka have caused massive damage to the people living near the coastal areas in both states.

Incessant rains causing landslides and floods left over 140 dead and thousands displaced. The destruction seems irreversible in cities, districts and villages.

While districts like Raigad and Ratnagiri were among the worst-hit areas of Maharashtra, parts of the coastal, Malenadu and the north-interior region of Karnataka were battered by torrential rains.

Since the rains began, 135 people are dead in Maharashtra and nine have been killed in Karnataka in incidents like floods, landslides etc. Over 1,35,313 people have been shifted to safer places, including 78,111 in Sangli district, followed by 40,882 in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. At the same time, in Karnataka, 31,360 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas, while 22,417 people are taking shelter in 237 relief camps.

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BSF, Pak Rangers resolve to maintain peace on border in first meeting after Ceasefire

Meeting held on Islamabad’s request, lodged strong protest over Drone activities: BSF

(Asian News Hub) – Border guards of India and Pakistan on Saturday resolved to remain committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border in Jammu.

Border Security Forces (BSF) said that Sector Command level meeting, first after New Delhi and Islamabad decided on steadfast holding of ceasefire, was held on request of Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area of the Jammu.

The BSF delegation was led by Surjit Singh, DIG, Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by Brig Murad Hussain, sector commander Pakistan Rangers, Sialkot Sector , S P S Sandhu (DIG), a spokesman of the BSF, said in a statement cited by GNS.

“It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding Forces, after declaration of cease fire agreement by DGMOs.”

“During meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding Forces, discussed various issues with main emphasis by BSF delegation on Pak Drone activities, (militant) activities by Pakistan from across the border, digging of tunnels by Pakistan and other issues related to Border management,” the spokesman said, adding, “A very strong protest was lodged by BSF delegates regarding drone activities by Pakistan authorities in Jammu area.”

The spokesman said both the forces “decided to re-energize instant communication between field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the ops matters.”

“ Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both side agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier DG level talks and committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border,” he added.

GNS

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Raj Kundra made erotica, not porn: Shilpa Shetty to police

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Shilpa Shetty has claimed she has nothing to do with ‘Hotshots’ – the mobile app involving Raj Kundra, and claimed that her husband used to make erotica, not porn.

“Shilpa Shetty has said her husband is innocent and that erotica is different from pornography. Her husband Raj Kundra wasn’t involved in producing porn content,” according to ANI.

Shilpa Shetty said that Pradeep Bakshi, the London-based wanted accused and Raj Kundra’s brother-in-law, was involved with the app and its functioning, the officials told ANI.

Kundra, 45, was arrested by the crime branch on Monday night in a case, which it said, related to alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps.

According to the police, there were several WhatsApp chats that revealed that Kundra was involved in the financial dealings of an app and its contents.

The police also said three women have come forward with complaints in the case, saying they were “forced to act in pornographic movies”.

The accused persons took advantage of struggling models, actors and other workers and made them work in these movies, the police added.

Kundra was taken into custody on Monday night by the city police”s crime branch after being booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

On Friday, Shilpa Shetty urged to her fans to watch her latest comedy “Hungama 2” and not let the film “suffer” in the wake of her husband, businessman Raj Kundra, was arrested in a porn films case.

Shetty, whose comeback film “Hungama 2” released on the steaming platform Disney + Hotstar on Friday, said the Priyadarshan-directed comedy is a result of “relentless” hard work of the entire team and should not suffer.

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