The Press Institute of India and UNICEF (Tamil Nadu) conducted in January a virtual roundtable discussion focused on the journey of the COVID pandemic and its impact on children. Senior journalists Sudha Umashankar, Susan Philip, Manjira Mazumdar and Laasya Shekhar, as well as Padmapriya T.S., CEO, Sanitation First, Nandini Sreedhar, special educator, and Ragini Srinivasan, counsellor, participated. The discussion was led by Kaushik Ganguly, Child Survival Specialist, UNICEF and Dr Arul Anand, UNICEF consultant.
Some of the subjects discussed were: COVID-19 variants, virus of concern, variant of high consequences, vaccine doses to be administered (booster or precautionary dose, teenage vaccination), impact of COVID on the mental health of children and the need for psycho-social support, and ways to break the chain of transmission. Sashi Nair, director, PII, welcomed and moderated. Sugata Roy, UNICEF, social and behaviour change specialist, UNICEF State Office for Odisha, summed up the proceedings.