May 26, 2021 4:59:51 am
MORE CHILDREN below 10 years in Surat city are infected by the novel coronavirus disease in the second wave of the pandemic compared to the first, according to the data shared by Surat civic authorities.
More than 560 children, all up to 10 years, tested positive for the virus in the first wave of Covid-19, while the cases increased nearly three-fold with around 1,700 children being affected during the second wave. However, no fatality was reported among the age group.
The data comes amid apprehensions that children would be severely infected during the third Covid-19 wave. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, however, recently stated that the fears were not based on facts.
According to the data shared by Surat Municipal Corporation’s (SMC) health department, between April and December 2020, the first wave of Covid-19, a total of 564 cases among minors up to 10 years were reported in Surat city. Among them, the lowest, up to 15 cases, were recorded in May 2020 while the highest number
of 138 cases was recorded in October. In August 2020, as many as 128 cases were recorded among children in the age group.
SMC commissioner B N Pani said, “This year, the Covid-19 cases among minors are high compared to last year. These minors (up to 10 years), who were infected, were asymptomatic and have recovered. Several of these children were detected during our test drives conducted through Dhanvantri Raths and other testing centres, and also by private paediatricians and family doctors.”
In the second wave of the pandemic, between January 2021 and May 20, as many as 1,696 cases were recorded among the same age group in Surat city. The maximum number of 1,185 cases were recorded in April alone, followed by 274 cases in March. In February, five cases were recorded.
SMC deputy health commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “In both the first and second waves, no fatality among minors were reported in Surat city.”
In both the first and second phases, the highest number of cases was recorded from the corporation’s South-West zone (Athwalines) where in 2020, a total of 118 cases were recorded, while in the past five months (the second wave), 500 cases were recorded from this part of the city. Athwalines area is among the posh areas in the city with all the necessary infrastructure and health facilities.
The SMC has already started preparing for the third wave and has conducted meetings with doctors from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and paediatricians in the city. Pani said, “We have planned to create separate wards at the New Civil Hospital (NCH) and SMIMER Hospitals which will be well-equipped. We have procured around 100 oxygen concentrators.” He added that paediatricians have been advised to remain well-equipped.
The SMC, he added, was also planning to introduce a chapter on Covid-19 in school syllabi. “We have prepared a chapter in which students will be given information on Covid-19, the difference between virus and bacteria, RNA and DNA viruses, communicable and non-communicable diseases, how the infection happens, ways to prevent it and how long it will remain in the body, why a mask is important during Covid and also non-Covid period, on the importance of vaccination among other things. Through this, we want to develop Covid-appropriate behaviour among the younger generation. The contents of this chapter have been prepared by the SMC health department officials and in the coming days we will distribute among private and municipal schools in the city as well,” Pani said.
Dr Ketan Bharadva, a paediatrician, said, “We have come across several minors who got infected and were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. We treated them accordingly and got better results. In some cases, we also found Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome of Children (MIS-C), which can affect the heart and lead to a brain stroke. Such patients were also successfully treated. In most such cases, the children got the infection from their parents. We have made arrangements to deal with more Covid patients, especially minors, during the third phase.”
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