New Delhi: Reassuring parents who are worried that children will be affected more by a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Lancet report says that there is no substantial evidence to suggest such a possibility.
According to the Lancet document, less than 5 per cent of coronavirus-infected children will require hospitalization due to COVID-19, and of them mortality is expected to be 2 per cent.
The study, conducted by Lancet COVID-19 Commission India Task Force, found that the coronavirus infection’s symptomatology in Indian children appears to be comparable globally, PTI reported.
“Most children with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and amongst those who are symptomatic, mild infections are predominant. Most children have fever with respiratory symptoms, and often present with gastrointestinal symptoms (like diarrhoea, vomiting, pain in abdomen) and atypical manifestation compared to adults. The proportion of symptomatic children increases as age increases, as does the severity in such age groups,” stated the report which was prepared after detailed consultation with an expert group comprising leading paediatricians from the country.
Data of around 2,600 hospitalized children, below the age of 10, was collected from 10 public and private hospitals in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi-NCR region.
On analysis, mortality rate among hospitalized COVID-positive children was found to be 2.4 per cent. Also, 40 per cent of the children who died had comorbidities.
“Nine per cent of all hospitalized COVID-positive children had severe illness. The above observations were similar during the two surges of COVID-19 infections India has experienced,” said the Lancet document.
The study suggested that vaccines will form an important part of the preventive strategy for adults and eventually for children too.
“Schools must be reopened cautiously in person, with options for online access as needed, but with a firm resolve to bring normalcy back as quickly as possible in children’s lives,” the report added.