The state government-owned open air theatre complex on Alipore Road is being readied for conversion into a safe home for children along with their mothers in anticipation of a third Covid wave. Another safe home for children is planned near Hatibagan in north Kolkata.
“Since the the third wave is predicted to affect children, we have made arrangements to quickly turn the six-storey building at Uttirna into a mother-and-child safe home. Initially, there will be 280 beds for children and mothers. The number will be ramped up if there is further demand,” a civic official said.
The cultural complex had earlier been converted into a safe home during the height of the second wave and opened on April 20. It has been lying virtually unused for the past month and a half as cases had nosedived following restrictions that were imposed by the state government to control Covid spread.
With scientists and doctors now predicting the arrival of the third wave, this facility is being readied to serve as a safe home for infected children. Along children’s cots, beds will be laid for mothers as well to ensure that they can stay with them. “We are making changes to the interior so that it becomes child-friendly,” said an official.
“We will purchase cots for children and may need to decorate the rooms with toys to engage the children and make them feel at home,” said a KMC health department official.
KMC has decided to open another 100-bed safe home for kids and mothers near Hatibagan in north Kolkata. “This safe home will cater to patients in north or central Kolkata,” said a KMC health official.
Apart from providing accommodation at the safe home, the KMC brass will also rope in paediatricians at the safe houses to monitor the health of the children 24×7.
“We will engage round-the-clock paediatricians to look after children. We will also keep a fleet of ambulances ready to ferry patients who may turn serious. We have held a meeting with our pool of doctors at the borough level seeking their assistance in the event of the arrival of a third wave,” a civic official said.
Source: Times of India