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COVID-19 Could Cause Hundreds Of Thousands Of Additional Child Death: United Nations

United Nations says that an estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis this year, adding to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019

The pandemic has also exacerbated the learning crisis as 188 countries have imposed countrywide school closures, affecting more than 1.5 billion children and youth
Highlights
  • 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty due to COVID-19
  • Malnutrition is expected to rise in 143 countries
  • 1.5 billion children and youth affected as 188 countries shut schools

United Nations: In a grim assessment of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children, the UN has said the looming global recession resulting from the outbreak could cause hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths this year, effectively reversing recent gains in reducing infant mortality, and push millions of children into extreme poverty. It said an estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year, adding to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019.

 

Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims. While they have thankfully been largely spared from the direct health effects of COVID-19 – at least to date – the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing,” a new ‘Policy Brief: The impact of COVID-19 on children’ released Thursday by the United Nations said.

On the threats to child survival and health, the policy brief said “economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in a hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.”

Also Read: The Decision To Lockdown India Was Taken Early And It Was Smart But Testing Needs To Scale Up: Expert On Country’s Fight Against Coronavirus

The brief said that there are three main channels through which children are affected by this crisis – infection with the virus itself; the immediate socioeconomic impacts of measures to stop transmission of the virus and end the pandemic; and the potential longer-term effects of delayed implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The pandemic has also exacerbated the learning crisis as 188 countries have imposed countrywide school closures, affecting more than 1.5 billion children and youth.

The potential losses that may accrue in learning for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom, it said.

More than two-thirds of countries have introduced a national distance learning platform, but among low-income countries the share is only 30 per cent. Before this crisis, almost one third of the world’s young people were already digitally excluded.

Also Read: Taking Cue From Other Countries, Centre Launches Aarogya Setu Mobile App To Monitor Coronavirus Cases, Curb Transmission

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed two million globally and 144,000 people have died so far. The US is the worst hit with more than 670,000 COVID-19 cases and 33,000 deaths.

It further added that rising malnutrition is expected as 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources.

The risks to child mental health and well being are also considerable. Refugee and internally displaced children as well as those living in detention and situations of active conflict are especially vulnerable, it said.

Releasing the policy brief, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said while the poorest and most vulnerable members of society are being hardest hit by the pandemic, he is “especially concerned about the well-being of the world’s children.” Even though children have so far been largely spared from the most severe symptoms of the disease, their lives are being totally upended.

This is a universal crisis of unprecedented scale. All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are affected. However, some children are destined to bear the greatest costs. Among those who will be badly hit are children living in slums, refugee and displacement camps, and zones of active conflict. Children with disabilities. Children living in institutions and detention centres, he said.

Also Read: Explainer: What Is The Difference Between Pandemic And Epidemic?

Urging nations to act now on each of these threats to children, Guterres said leaders must do everything in their power to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

What started as a public health emergency has snowballed into a formidable test for the global promise to leave no one behind, he said.

The report urged governments and donors to prioritise education for all children and recommended they provide economic assistance, including cash transfers, to low- income families and minimise disruptions to social and healthcare services for children.

We must also prioritise the most vulnerable – children in conflict situations; child refugees and displaced persons; children living with disabilities, Dr Guterres said, adding that with the pandemic placing so many of the world’s children in jeopardy, I reiterate my urgent appeal: let us protect our children and safeguard their well-being.

Governments are also urged to take steps to counter the unintended effects on children by rolling out or expanding social assistance to families, securing food supply chains and local food markets, and prioritising the continuity of services such as schooling, nutrition programmes, and maternal and newborn care.

Standard strategies for physical distancing and lockdowns should be adapted in places such as low-income settings in urban areas, refugee camps and conflict zones. The report underlined that the UN is working across all settings and stands ready to support countries striving to invest in the world’s youngest generation.

World

24,00,62,413Cases
20,17,73,183Active
3,33,99,961Recovered
48,89,269Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,00,62,413 and 48,89,269 have died; 20,17,73,183 are active cases and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 4:08 am.

India

3,40,53,573 15,981Cases
2,01,6322,046Active
3,33,99,961 17,861Recovered
4,51,980 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,53,573 confirmed cases including 4,51,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,01,632 and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,88,429 2,149

33,379 222

64,15,316 1,898

1,39,734 29

Kerala

48,38,811 8,867

95,349 1,072

47,16,728 9,872

26,734 67

Karnataka

29,82,869 470

9,700 93

29,35,238 368

37,931 9

Tamil Nadu

26,84,641 1,245

15,238 213

26,33,534 1,442

35,869 16

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,708 586

6,453 135

20,38,960 712

14,295 9

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,014 6

133 2

16,86,984 8

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,463 451

7,513 63

15,52,997 506

18,953 8

Delhi

14,39,337 26

327 10

14,13,921 36

25,089

Odisha

10,34,276 467

4,817 73

10,21,180 535

8,279 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,624 10

197 6

9,91,857 16

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,383 1

40 2

9,45,389 3

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,258 14

212 3

8,15,960 17

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,675 6

106 5

7,82,046 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,049 14

116 11

7,60,884 3

10,049

Bihar

7,26,021 5

46 4

7,16,314 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,722 104

4,056 115

6,60,730 218

3,936 1

Assam

6,05,944 97

3,458 188

5,96,547 284

5,939 1

Punjab

6,01,992 21

228 6

5,85,224 25

16,540 2

Jharkhand

3,48,415 9

130 0

3,43,150 9

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,739 10

179 4

3,36,163 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,885 51

895 40

3,25,564 91

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,203 90

1,361 26

2,16,125 114

3,717 2

Goa

1,77,410 54

648 31

1,73,423 81

3,339 4

Puducherry

1,27,296 37

611 36

1,24,836 73

1,849

Manipur

1,22,545 113

1,444 0

1,19,208 109

1,893 4

Mizoram

1,11,651 932

13,316 285

97,955 1,211

380 6

Tripura

84,299 4

102 8

83,381 12

816

Meghalaya

82,815 81

893 1

80,490 79

1,432 1

Chandigarh

65,297 2

30 2

64,447 4

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,964 6

183 19

54,501 25

280

Sikkim

31,739 17

189 35

31,159 51

391 1

Nagaland

31,547 31

228 2

30,645 32

674 1

Ladakh

20,871 4

42 2

20,621 6

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 0

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

1 1

10,313 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641 1

9 1

7,503 2

129

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