Amid third wave threat, COVID cases surging among children below 10; experts say ‘can’t be termed dramatic’

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KEY STORY

  • Amid growing apprehensions that the next wave could hit children, an expert panel of the Centre said that COVID-19 cases among children have been on a rise since March this year.
  • The Empowered Group-1 (EG-1) that deals with country’s medical infrastructure and COVID management plan, in its data, pointed out a steady increase in the share of coronavirus cases in children below 10 years in the overall active cases.
  • As per the data, the share of children aged between 1 to 10 years in the cumulative active cases of COVID-19 has gone up steadily from 2.80 per cent in March this year to 7.04 per cent in August.
  • In other words, around seven children out of every 100 active COVID cases are infected. The group headed by NITI Aayog member VK Paul however said that the “marginal shift” towards children can’t be termed “dramatic” and that reduced vulnerability of adults to the virus could be one of the factors behind the surge in COVID cases in the 1-10 years age group.
  • The data show that the share of children aged 1-10 years was in the range of 2.72 per cent to 3.59 per cent in the total active caseload, from June 2020 to February 2021.

CONCLUSION

  • Of 18 states and Union Territories for which data are available, in the month of August, COVID-19 cases among children were the highest in Mizoram (16.48% of total active cases) and the lowest in Delhi (2.25%).
  • The data hold significance as many experts have said that a third wave of COVID-19 in the country is inevitable and that children could be affected in the next wave of the infection.

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