New Delhi: COVID-19 in children should not be of much concern if they are asymptomatic and do not have severe infection, experts said on Thursday (September 16), amid some states, including Mizoram and Kerala, reporting a rise in cases among those aged below 10 years. They, however, stressed on the need for preparing and ramping up arrangements for any eventuality, including more children requiring hospitalisation.
The percentage of infected children aged below 10 years in the total active COVID-19 cases has risen since March this year, official sources said, adding that a larger number of cases among children are being reported from Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Kerala, among others.
Mizoram registered its highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as 1,502 more people, including 300 children, tested positive for the infection, pushing the state’s tally to 72,883. Chairman of the COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), Dr N K Arora, said,
If children are found positive for the coronavirus infection, but they are not symptomatic, then it is not a matter of concern because according to rounds of serosurveys conducted in the country, children are affected to the same extent as adults.
The proportion of symptomatic cases in children is extremely low and risk of severe infection even more uncommon, Dr Arora said. According to AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria, as restrictions get lifted and families with their children start travelling, children who have not contracted Covid will get infected and “that will reflect in the numbers”.
But this does not translate to a larger number of children getting admitted or dying because of COVID-19. Most children will be asymptomatic and have mild disease. So increasing numbers that way is not a cause of great alarm. However, we need to be prepared for any eventuality, including more children requiring hospitalisation, he said.
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