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COVID-19: No Data On Children Being Affected More, Says AIIMS Delhi Chief

New Delhi: A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is inevitable in India, according to experts. And, worryingly, it’s being predicted that children will be affected more in the third wave.

States like Odisha have started preparation by planning to set up special paediatric wards in COVID-19 hospitals.

On Tuesday, however, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria sought to allay fears and calm nerves by saying that there is no evidence to suggest that the next wave of COVID-19 will cause serious infection among children.

“I don’t think we will have a serious infection in children in the future,” Dr Guleria said during a press briefing of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

He explained that data collected from the coronavirus pandemic in the country last year and during the second wave showed that neither new variants nor the old ones caused severe infection among children.

“No data, global or Indian, has had any observations of children being affected more. Even in the data from the second wave, kids who were infected had mild illness or comorbidities,” he said.

“In many parts of the world where new waves are happening, there’s no data to show children are being severely affected,” Dr Guleria added.

“60-70 per cent of the kids who had to be hospitalised were with comorbidities… either they were immunocompromised or on chemotherapy. The healthy kids had mild illness and recovered without being hospitalised,” he stated.

Dr Guleria reiterated that the best way to avoid a third wave of coronavirus is to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, avoid crowds and break the chain of transmission.