Assembly panel takes note of teen’s death

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Committee for Women Empowerment has taken strong cognisance of the death of a 15-year-old boy from COVID-19 last week.
The committee has even petitioned the director of health services (MI), Aman War to inquire into the case.
Chairperson of the committee, Ampareen Lyngdoh, after a meeting of the panel here on Wednesday, said that the committee needed to zero in on the case in Shillong city.
“We feel that if in Shillong city children, other than mothers and newborn babies, are also affected, then we need to figure out whether the health system is prepared for an increase in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients in the state,” Lyngdoh said.
The boy, hailing from Mawpat locality, had succumbed to his infection only after being lately detected as COVID-19 positive.
Diagnosed with undifferentiated febrile illness along with acute respiratory distress syndrome and septic shock, he passed away at Dr H. Gordon Roberts Hospital.
Stressing on the need to figure out if there are adequate facilities for children contracting the virus, Lyngdoh expressed concern over the rapid rise in deaths over the past two weeks.
“We would like to know if the government is prepared in places where there are a large number of positive COVID-19 cases. We would like the state government to put in place a system that will give some kind of assurance to citizens, particularly women and children,” she said.
Pointing out that the maternal mortality and infant mortality rates have increased during the past few months, Lyngdoh said, “the challenges are expected to increase in the months to come.”
The committee observed that if children were to succumb to COVID-19, then it would indicate that the government was lacking in facility and infrastructure preparedness.
“One case has already occurred. But this should not be repeated. We would also want to know if we have ventilators for children. Do we have special expert care to treat children? Do we have enough pediatricians? Will everyone be able to get access to treatment?” she asked.
Stating that there are concerns about the status of the corona care centres (CCCs), the committee chairperson observed that women in particular needed more attention, especially when they were in quarantine at the corona care centres after having tested positive for the virus.
The committee will review the matter again in its next meeting on September 27.

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