The dedicated COVID-19 wards and the ICU at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children were almost full, hospital Director, Dr. G. Wijesuriya said yesterday.
Children were admitted at the rate of 5-6 a day and on some days the number increased to 12, Dr. Wijesuriya said, adding the youngest COVID-19 patient was 21 days old. So far 500 children and 350 mothers had been treated by the hospital during the third wave of the pandemic, he said.
“We have two dedicated wards and an ICU and these are now almost full. The ICU has six beds and five beds are already occupied. The two wards are full, too. We need new wards and we need them fast. If cases are reported at this rate, we will be in trouble,” Dr. Wijesuriya said, noting that they had been compelled to transfer some COVID-19 infected children to the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital and infected mothers to the Mulleriyawa Hospital.
“From the first week of August we will have a new hospital for COVID-19 affected children in Hambantota. We are also looking for a hospital around Colombo that can be dedicated to treating children.
Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Dr. Surantha Perera said parents should pay more attention to the safety of their children and should adhere to health guidelines religiously.
“Children are not vaccinated and parents who are vaccinated have lowered their guard. They have to realize that we are not out of danger and they must maintain physical distance, wash hands, wear masks and avoid unnecessary travel.”