Unlike the first wave, children seem to be highly susceptible to the COVID-19 virus and the capital is reporting a surge in cases of kids, particularly between the ages of one to five years, catching the infection. This is contrary to common belief that children are at zero risk of contracting COVID.
A BBC report too highlighted how COVID-19 had killed 892 Brazilian children up to the age of nine, including 518 babies under one year old between February 2020 and March 2021, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health. India, which is registering record single day spikes of new cases of COVID-19, recently overtook Brazil to become the second most affected country globally by the novel coronavirus.
According to doctors in New Delhi, cases of children being infected by the coronavirus have significantly shot up by five times as compared to last year. Three-month-old infants are being admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 and pneumonia and even six-week old kids are not immune to the virus and are landing up in hospital, said the medical fraternity.
However, the age group that has been largely affected by COVID-19 is between one to five years old, said doctors. They usually come into the hospital reporting symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and headache, said a report in The Indian Express.
Also, a survey conducted in the fifth round of serological surveillance in Delhi had revealed that 50 per cent of the children had antibodies against COVID-19. This proved that children too have been equally exposed to the virus and had high levels of antibodies similar to adults.
Females in this study, nearly 52.49 per cent had antibodies, higher than 48.41 per cent of the males who had developed antibodies to fight the virus. Nearly 1,307 children above five years and less than 12 years were examined under this survey that had tested 28,000 people in January for an eight-day period.
One of the reasons children are contracting COVID-19 is because of the “laxity” among the public and the adults in the family, said doctors. They felt that since adults have stopped being cautious and were exposing themselves without masks and social distancing, the children in the family were contracting the virus. Though the impact of COVID-19 is not too severe on children, experts advised adults to continue to adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour to avoid passing on the virus.
If children run a high fever beyond three days, and are irritable, refuse to eat, breathe heavily or get severe abdominal pain or diarrhea they should be immediately taken to a doctor.
Meanwhile, Delhi continued to record a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, a worrying trend which was highlighted by the Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal in a video address. He had cautioned young people particularly to stay indoors and not expose themselves to the virus. On Wednesday, Delhi had another high single-day spike with 17,282 new COVID-19 cases and 104 deaths.