‘Third wave of Covid might not impact children, however...’: AIIMS director
As India continues to battle the second wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, medical experts have predicted an upcoming third wave which will impact children the most. Many states and Union territories (UTs) have begun to ramp up their health infrastructure to brace for another wave of infections.
However, the Centre said on Monday that there is no clear indication whether children will be severely affected in the third wave of the pandemic. Addressing a press conference on the coronavirus situation in India on Monday, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria said, “It has been said that children will be infected the most in the third wave, but the Paediatrics Association has said that this is not based on facts. It might not impact children so people should not fear,” according to news agency ANI.
Guleria told reporters that children have been only mildly affected in both the first and second wave of the pandemic but there has been a lot of collateral damage. “Children and young adults have suffered a lot of collateral damage due to Covid-19. They are the backbone of the society and the future of the country. Some of the challenges include stress and mental issues, smartphone dependence and addiction, interrupted education opportunities and nutritional issues.” the AIIMS director said and urged citizens to form help groups to address these issues.
Guleria’s remarks came two days after Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said on Saturday that children can spread Covid-19 but they experience only mild symptoms and the mortality rate is very low among them. He added children only account for not more than 3-4% of hospital admissions in a Covid facility.
“They (children) often do not require hospitalisation. They do occasionally. Hence, our facilities have to be ready,” Dr Paul said and urged Covid-appropriate behaviour should be inculcated in children to break the chain of transmission.
India on Monday continued to report a fall in its daily Covid-19 disease tally after 222,315 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 26,752,447. This is the eight successive days when the cases remained below the 300,000-mark. The positivity rate has also further reduced to 8.09%.