Mask Not Recommended For 5 Yrs Old & Below, Check Revised Guidelines On Use OF Drugs For Those Below 18 Yrs

Bhubaneswar: It is not mandatory for children aged five years and below to wear a mask. Those aged 6-11 years may wear it depending on the ability of the child to use a mask safely and appropriately under the direct supervision of parents, the Health Ministry said.

The revised guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in children and adolescents issued on Thursday amid the Omicron scare, however, has recommended the use of mask for those aged 12 and above.

On drug use, it said that antivirals or monoclonal antibodies is not recommended for children less than 18 years of age, irrespective of the severity of infection. Since COVID-19 is a viral infection, antimicrobials have no role in the management of uncomplicated COVID infection.

For asymptomatic and mild cases, antimicrobials are not recommended for therapy or prophylaxis. In moderate and severe cases, antimicrobials should not be prescribed unless there is clinical suspicion of a superadded infection.

For septic shock, empirical antimicrobials, according to body weight, are frequently added to cover all likely pathogens based on clinical judgement, patient host factors, local epidemiology and antimicrobial policy of the hospital, it said.

The ministry said that steroids are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 and advised against self-medication. If steroids are used, they should be tapered over 10 to 14 days, subject to clinical improvement, it added.

The guidelines were reviewed by a group of experts in view of the current surge that is mainly attributed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is also a variant of concern.

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