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Maharashtra bucks national trend as prevalence of Covid-19 among children declines marginally

As reported by The Indian Express on Tuesday, the share of children below ten years of age amongst the reported infections had gone up from about 2.8 per cent in March this year to over 7 per cent in August, according to data available with the central government.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: September 16, 2021 8:26:48 am
Pune Police carried out an operation to check if Covid-19 norms and restrictions are being followed at Tulshibagh and Mandai on Wednesday evening. (Express Photo by Ashish Kale)

Contrary to the increasing trend noticed at the national level, the prevalence of Covid19 infection amongst children has not changed appreciably in Maharashtra between the first and second waves.

As reported by The Indian Express on Tuesday, the share of children below ten years of age amongst the reported infections had gone up from about 2.8 per cent in March this year to over 7 per cent in August, according to data available with the central government. In Maharashtra, however, this share has remained more or less constant throughout the pandemic at around three per cent. In fact, it has shown a marginal decline.

Data from Maharashtra shows that of the nearly 19.35 lakh infections recorded in the state till December 31 last year, about 67,000 were amongst children below ten years of age. This comprised a little over three per cent. This year, more than 45.65 lakh infections have been detected in the state till September 12. Of these, about 1.4 lakh, or three per cent again, were among children below the age of ten years.

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There has been a considerable variation in the proportion of children affected by the disease from state to state, with Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, three of the top five worst affected states, reporting lower prevalence amongst the children compared to national figures. The trend in Maharashtra is also visible in Pune, the state’s worst affected district. During the first wave, people below 18 years of age comprised 11 per cent of total infections recorded in Pune’s city areas. This share dropped marginally to about ten per cent during the second wave, in the period between March and September. Separate data for children below the age of ten years was not immediately available.

Hospitals and health officials in the city said there had been a considerable drop in the cases amongst children in the last two months.

“We had the maximum number of cases amongst children at the peak of the second wave in April – May but after that the number has definitely declined,” Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical director at Bharati Hospital said. “In the last one month, only one child has been admitted to the hospital,” he said. Dr Aarti Kinikar, head of the Pune paediatric Covid 19 task force, said there were only two to three children at Sassoon general hospital, the city’s largest hospital.

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