HYDERABAD: Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao has said that there have been no deaths or severe cases seen among children due to Covid-19 in the first two phases, and assured that the State government was well-prepared to handle any situation. He urged parents to feel safe about sending their wards to school.
Addressing media persons in Hyderabad on Wednesday, September 1, he said three per cent of children aged between one and 10 years have been affected. He added that 10 per cent between 10 and 20 years have been affected in the last one year, which is far less than the 73 per cent of adults between 20 and 60 who were affected.
Quoting from the Indian Council for Medical Research’s (ICMR) sero survey, he said 63 per cent of adults and 50 per cent of children have already been exposed to the virus in the State. Rao also played down ICMR’s predictions of a third wave in the middle of October. Unless a highly infective variant comes, he felt a third wave will not occur.
He said that schools across the State were mapped at mandal level to manage cases arising from any cluster by the public health surveillance teams who would be testing, tracking, treating and monitoring cases which may arise. Advising parents to not send their children if they have flu-like symptoms to school, he said those found positive would be sent home and contact tracing of other children, and isolating them would be done, as per guidelines issued. Observing that children were losing interest in education, getting addicted to cell phones, and that staying home was taking a toll on their mental and physical health, he said letting them attend schools would be the right thing to do.
Vaccines for children above 12 years being tested
Pointing out that 1.80 crore people had received at least one dose of the vaccine, Rao assured that by Dasara, the remaining population would also be vaccinated. He also disclosed that vaccines for 12 years and above was being tested and would be available by the end of this month. He informed that vaccination for children above two years was currently under clinical trials and would be available from October.