By A Staff Reporter Bhaktapur, July 15: Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur district has started making necessary preparations considering the possibility of the third wave of COVID-19. The municipality has started the preparations keeping in mind that the rate, which has subsided for now, might spike again. In line with that, building health infrastructure in the municipality-run Nepal-Korea Friendly Municipal Hospital, has been expedited. Mayor of the municipality Madan Sundar Shrestha said, “Health experts are suggesting that the third wave is potentially deadlier and more contagious, so we are preparing in advance.” The municipality is arranging special wards for children in the municipal hospitals and health centres as the new wave might mostly affect children, he added. “The municipality’s policy and programme for the upcoming fiscal year is designed to fully protect people -- especially children -- from the pandemic,” he said. A process to set up a five-bed special ward for children on the first floor of the hospital by replacing the administrative office has started, said Rupesh Shrestha, administrative officer at the hospital. As recommended by the ward offices, free testing of the disease will be done at the hospital. A committee will be formed to identify the poor and the needy, and they will be provided with free treatment. The municipality has said that it will provide incentives to front liners as recognition for their critically important work. In addition, the municipality has brought online emergency service for oxygen therapy, 14-bed HDU, 15-bed ICU and 10 ventilators in the hospital. While the hospital has set up its own oxygen plant, and has been providing services, both COVID and non-COVID-related, the municipality has been operating a 70-bed isolation and PCR lab. Mayor Shrestha claimed that Madhyapur Thimi Municipality was the first among 753 local levels to do so much in integrated health sector. Executive Director of the hospital, Dr. Dipendra Kamar Raushan, said that the municipality and the hospital are now actively providing quality services by enhancing the hospital’s capacity. According to him, highly-experienced doctors, consultants and managers have been providing services from the hospital. “The hospital has been providing various services including general ward, paediatrics, orthopaedics, drug diagnostic, ECG Services, endoscopy, geriatrics, gynaecology, surgery, radiology and others,” Dr. Raushan said.