472 Bengaluru children test positive for Covid-19 | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Experts say the second wave has hit children hard as, unlike last year, many are spending more time outdoors.
BENGALURU: As the number of Covid-19 cases surge in Bengaluru, more young children are turning positive. This month, 472 kids aged below 10 have been diagnosed with the infection, and the number is expected to cross 500 over the weekend.
Experts say the second wave has hit children hard as, unlike last year, many are spending time outdoors. Families, in general, are moving around a lot more, which has increased the chances of transmission.
A member of the state technical advisory committee on Covid-19 told STOI that he was not surprised by the increasing number of infections among children. “A year ago, cases among children were not this high as they were not exposed to the virus. During the lockdown, they were confined to their homes. Now, they visit parks or play in the common areas of their apartment complex,” the member said, adding that children could become carriers of coronavirus.
Of the 472 cases in the said age group this month, 244 are boys and 226 are girls. Experts say it’s tough to make children wear masks properly and follow physical distancing. “When they accompany their parents to functions like weddings, they become a part of the crowd. In such settings, they are most vulnerable,” the committee member said. While children are not attending regular on-campus classes, many join dance, music and art workshops and play sports.
In the first week of March, civic agency BBMP recorded eight to 11 Covid-19 cases a day among children aged under 10. In the past week, the cases have ranged from 32 to 46 per day.
“We see children complaining of fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and loose stools. These symptoms subside in a couple of days. When we ask parents to get the children tested for Covid, they refuse,” said Dr Shivaprakash Sosale C, joint secretary of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Karnataka chapter.
According to Dr Prakash Vemgal, the head of paediatrics at Rainbow Children’s Hospital on Bannerghatta Road, most kids with coronavirus infections live in containment zones and they are generally asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. There is no huge demand for hospital beds for children. “Kids have a typical viral infection. We ask the parents to report back after three days if the symptoms persist. We have hardly seen instances where they came back, which means children recovered,” said Dr Vemgal.
Earlier this month, the technical advisory committee suggested the temporary closure of play zones in parks and clubhouses, gyms and swimming pools in apartment complexes in districts with a high positivity rate. It also recommended the suspension of on-campuses classes in all lower grades. The state government is yet to act upon the recommendations.
“All non-essential offline classes — the ones that do not have a public exam — should not be held amid an infection surge,” said epidemiologist Dr Giridhara R Babu, who is a member of the committee. He added that there was a difference between playing with a known group and attending classes in enclosed school spaces, where chances of infection were higher.