GUWAHATI: Concerned over an alarming rise in Covid-19 infection among children, the Assam government has advised Covid positive parents to opt for institutional quarantine instead of home quarantine to keep children protected against the virus.
From April 1 to June 26 this year, the total number of Covid-infected persons in the state was 2,80,504. They included 34,606 children up to the age of 18 years. Further analysis showed that 5,755 of the children were aged less than five years and 28,851 aged 6-18 years.
Kamrup (Metropolitan) district has the highest caseload with 5,346. This stands at 10.04% of the total caseload of 53,251 in the district.
Official sources said during the period, the state recorded 34 deaths among children. Many of them had comorbidities like congenital diseases (heart, kidney, rare malformations etc), especially among less than the five-year-old.
According to the sources, during the ongoing Assam Community Surveillance Programme Phase 3, many children staying with Covid-infected parents or guardians, who had opted for home isolation, subsequently tested positive.
The sources said the Health Department was strictly following the guidelines issued by the Centre on pediatric Covid management and initiated a slew of steps to address and manage infection among the vulnerable age groups.
“Establishment of Covid pediatric ICUs at all medical colleges and district hospitals are at advanced stage. Over 5,000 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff, have already been trained and are dealing with the patients so that we can save maximum lives. The 108 ambulances have also been trained to transport such infected children with appropriate care,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, 12 Covid patients died at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital within 24 hours. Nine of the patients were admitted in ICU.
The hospital authority said the patients’ oxygen saturation level was very low at the time of admission and their condition was critical. None of them was vaccinated for Covid.