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Visakhapatnam: Children not spared in first and second waves of Covid

Children were impacted due to Covid-19 in the first and second waves as well
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Children were impacted due to Covid-19 in the first and second waves as well

Highlights

The expected intensity of the third wave is said to be as severe as the second wave. With a number of theories emerging on how children below 18 years are possibly going to be the next vulnerable group, district administration is getting its action plan ready to tackle the situation.

Visakhapatnam: The expected intensity of the third wave is said to be as severe as the second wave. With a number of theories emerging on how children below 18 years are possibly going to be the next vulnerable group, district administration is getting its action plan ready to tackle the situation.

However, in Visakhapatnam, thousands of children have been infected with the virus both in 2020 and this year thus far.

The impact of Covid-19 on children between 10 and 19 years of age recorded more in the district. Last year, 3,868 children in this age category were affected by the virus. Among them, the number of girls infected (1,982) exceeded the count of the boys (1,886).

This year, the number of boys suffering from Covid-19 was more compared to the girls. So far, 4,316 boys were affected by Covid-19, while 3,846 girls were tested positive for the coronavirus.

In 2020, a total of 5,232 children aged 0-19 years were affected by Covid-19, while 11,630 got infected this year till now. Of them, two children succumbed to the coronavirus last year.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the district showed 1,44,309. Of them, children constitute 16,862.

After the 10-19 age group which was affected the most, the next vulnerable group is the six-nine age group. The impact on this age category was more among the boys. According to the statistics, 1,131 children last year and 3,055 this year were tested positive for the coronavirus so far.

As a part of its third wave action plan, the district administration is strengthening its secondary level of healthcare facilities. "Training doctors and paramedics in effective treatment protocols through webinars and short-term clinical attachment at tertiary care hospitals will be taken up. Strengthening district hospitals to perform on a par with teaching hospitals by providing adequate manpower and equipment are some of the plans in place to tackle the third wave of infections," says P S Surya Narayana, district medical and health officer.

Soon, paediatricians will be roped in from private hospitals, 1,000 paediatric beds will be made available and two exclusive paediatric hospitals will be identified to treat children.

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