Amid concerns over a probable third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Centre on Saturday said children are not immune from the infection, but the impact is minimal. “If children get affected by Covid, either there will be no symptoms or there will be minimal symptoms. They do not require hospitalisation generally,” Niti Aayog (health) member VK Paul said on Saturday, during the press briefing of the Union health ministry.
Explaining three points about Covid-19 infection among children, Dr Paul said that children are not immune from this infection and they can infect others but children do not generally suffer from severe infection. Health infrastructure should be ramped up to treat Covid-19 among children, but it is most important to not let them become a part of the transmission chain in the first place, Dr Paul said.
“Some facts are clear in front of us. Children can be infected and they can be infected to quite an extent. It can’t be said with certainty that the infection among children is comparatively less. For example, the December-January serosurvey revealed that the seropositivity rate among children and older is almost the same,” Dr Paul said.
Children account for about 3-4 per cent of hospital admission, in both India and the rest of the world, he said adding special attention should be on those between the age of 10 and 12 years as they are very mobile.
The health ministry during a briefing on Saturday noted, COVID-19 situation is stabilising with positivity rate, daily cases and active cases reducing. The positivity rate has declined from 24.83 pc on May 10 to 12.45 pc on May 22.
However, eight states have more than 1 lakh active COVID-19 cases while 18 states have over 15 pc positivity rate, it said.
And further added, though there is overall decline in case burden but COVID-19 positivity rate is still over 10 pc in 382 district.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, said, “There are only 7 states that are reporting more than 10,000 cases and 6 states with 5,000-10,000 cases. 6 states are reporting a high number of deaths. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab and Delhi.”
There are more than 93 districts where declining case positivity is being noted, he added.
Touching upon the topic of vaccine passport, Agarwal said, “Relevant action will be taken when we reach the level when a consensus at the world level is reached, over vaccine.
So far there’s no consensus at level of WHO over this. Discussion still being done if vaccinated people will be allowed. As of now, as per WHO guidelines by countries, people with negative COVID test report being allowed, he added.
With the fresh cases, India’s tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,62,89,290. The death toll due to the disease rose to 2,95,525 with 4,194 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The active cases further reduced to 29,23,400 comprising 11.12 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 87.76 per cent.