Delhi: Doctors allay fears, say kids below 12 at low Covid risk
Data from Delhi’s government hospitals show that of the 91 patients currently admitted in hospitals, only eight are children who have been advised institutional care because of pre-existing co-morbid conditions.
Amid concerns that more children may be catching the Sars-CoV-2 virus, health experts in the Capital said there is no need to panic since the infection among minors was usually mild and it lasted only three to four days.
Data from Delhi’s government hospitals show that of the 91 patients currently admitted in hospitals, only eight are children who have been advised institutional care because of pre-existing co-morbid conditions. Delhi saw a sharp spike in Covid cases on Wednesday, recording 1,009 new cases at a positivity rate of 5.7%, up from 632 cases a day before.
“The condition of the admitted children is stable. Nearly all the children have some co-morbidities and it was safer for them to be under the watch of doctors,” said a doctor at Kalawati Saran Hospital, the largest Covid hospital in the city for children.
Private hospitals in the city have also noted a spike in the number of Covid infections among children, but the majority of the cases coming in do not result in admissions.
Dr Krishnan Chugh, director and head of the department of paediatrics at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said that children were usually coming into the outpatient department (OPD) or consulting doctors via video calls and getting better within three to four days.
“The severity of infection is mild and the duration of the infection is also less. The decision of keeping the schools open is welcome because of the psychological impact of remaining at home for the last two years,” said Dr Chugh. He, however, said that government agencies can consider providing the option of online classes for children with co-morbid conditions, “at least till the current spike in infections is controlled”.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday made wearing of masks mandatory in the Capital once again even as it said that schools will be kept open for offline classes. DDMA will also prepare standard operating procedures (SOP) for better management and prevention of Covid-19 cases in educational institutes.
Health experts, however, said the administration should continue to stress on the use of masks in schools and also encourage parents to get their children vaccinated at the earliest. Dr PK Sharma, epidemiologist and advisor (public health) with the New Delhi Municipal Council, said, “Parents must be counselled to get their children vaccinated and the administration should consider doing that through PTA meetings.”