01 Jun 2021: COVID-19: Amid third wave concerns, new guidelines for children soon
If the novel coronavirus changes its nature, the impact of the infection on children could worsen, NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul said today. Paul, who heads India's COVID-19 Task Force, added that 2-3% of children may also require hospitalization. He said an expert group has been set up and fresh guidelines will be released for children soon. Here are more details on this.
Details: 'We are preparing for it'
"Although children get mild COVID-19 and only 2-3% children may need hospitalization, we are preparing for it," Dr. Paul said at a Health Ministry media briefing. "An expert group has been formed and new guidelines will be released." He also warned of multi-system inflammation, a condition where children could experience fever, body pain and some other symptoms even weeks after recovering.
Concerns: Third wave could hit India in 6-8 months: Experts
India, which faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak over the past couple of months, could be hit by a third wave in under eight months, experts have warned. Amid these concerns, reports say more than 8,000 children contracted the coronavirus in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district in May alone. Worryingly, there is no approved coronavirus vaccine for children in India.
Vaccine strategy: 'No change in current vaccine strategy'
Contradicting reports, Paul said there will be no change in the schedule of Covishield doses. "It will be two doses only. After the first Covishield dose is administered, the second dose will be given after 12 weeks." Further, mixed vaccines will not be used until thorough studies in that regard have been carried out. "Till then, there will be no change in strategy."
Situation: India's coronavirus situation
India was hit hard by a deadly second wave of the coronavirus over the past few months as it reported lakhs of infections every day. Daily cases in India peaked at 4,14,000 just a few weeks ago. The situation has since improved - In the past 24 hours, the country logged 1.27 lakh new cases, marking a fall of 16% from yesterday.
Vaccination in India: How is vaccination drive going in India?
India is struggling to vaccinate its huge population at the desired pace - More than 21 crore doses have been administered, however, just above 3% of Indians have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The central government is scaling up domestic production of vaccines and also importing foreign-made jabs as it aims to inoculate all Indian adults by the end of this year.
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