15-year-old Covid-positive girl dies in Bengaluru, officials say death due to comorbidities
While children below 15 years remain at risk of developing an infection as they are unvaccinated, experts say the impact of the current surge of Covid 19 cases has not been much on the children so far
BENGALURU: Amid concerns of a third wave largely affecting children, a 15-year-old girl who had comorbidities died of Covid 19 in Bengaluru, according to the health bulletin shared by the Karnataka Health Department on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. However, Health Department officials claim that her death was not due to Covid but from other comorbid conditions for which she was admitted to the hospital.
The bulletin stated that she had symptoms of Influenza-like illness with symptoms of fever. According to officials from the health department, the girl was a resident of Bengaluru's BBMP limits and had immunodeficiency disorder.
An official said, "She had a history of one year of intermittent headache and was admitted to the hospital when her condition deteriorated. She was shifted to a private hospital where she developed cerebral problems." Following a rapid test, it was found that she tested positive for Covid 19 when she was in the ICU. The officials state that the death wasn't because of Covid as she did not get admitted for Covid 19.
Terming that death due to Covid-19 in children is quite rare, Dr Nagaraj K, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases said, "It is extremely rare that children die of Covid 19. Unless the child has comorbidities with severe immune-suppressed diseases it is rare. In the second wave we saw only about 2% deaths," he said.
While children below 15 years remain at risk of developing an infection as they are unvaccinated, experts say the impact of the current surge of Covid 19 cases has not been much on the children so far.
In the last 24 hours, of the 3605 cases in Bengaluru, 99 children aged between 0 to 9 years, 373 children aged 10 to 19 years have tested positive for Covid 19. Earlier, a 16-member expert committee headed by the cardiologist Dr Devishetty Committee, which was formulated by the State government, had given out a report stating that the third wave will largely affect children. It had outlined that as many as 3.4 lakh children in Karnataka are likely to be infected by the peak of the third wave.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka government on Tuesday ordered the closure of schools for the next two weeks. However, the National Coalition on the Education Emergency (NCEE) has urged the government to ensure schools remain open even if Covid 19 cases continue to increase. NCEE is a conglomerate that works on the right to education.
NCEE, in a press release, has asked the government to consider scientific studies that show low-in-school transmission of the virus, compared to other locations. "Many schools in rural areas have an enrollment of less than 50. Children who come to these schools are in many cases, in the same bubble in the community, and already play with one another outside their homes. There is absolutely no justification in closing time," the NCEE release stated.