NEW DELHI: The Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital has recorded around 40 cases of “severe” coronavirus infection among children during the second wave and around 15 of them were aged below one, a senior doctor said on Monday.
Dr Urmila Jhamb, the head of the hospital’s paediatrics department, said data collected during the second wave does not suggest that children have been infected in large numbers, “but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the third wave”.
Around 400 children suffering from COVID-19 were admitted to the facility from March to December last year, she said.
“During the second wave of coronavirus, starting April 1, the hospital has recorded around 40 cases of severe infection among children so far. Of these, around 15 were aged below one,” she said.
“We admitted only severe cases, those who required oxygen or ventilator, this time. That’s why the number seems low (compared to last year),” Dr Jhamb said.
The hospital, the largest run by the Delhi government, has reported 75 cases of infection among children since January 1 this year.
Jhamb said a month-old Covid-positive baby died due to severe dehydration earlier this month.
“We couldn’t do much. The child passed away two hours after he was brought to the hospital,” the doctor said.
Asked about a possible third wave and its impact on children, Dr Jhamb said data collected during the second wave does not suggest that kids have been infected in large numbers.
“It doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the third wave. It looks less likely, but we cannot predict,” she added.
For example, a large number of young adults got infected during the second wave as compared to the first time, she said.
The spread of coronavirus among children during a possible third wave will depend on several factors, including vaccination and reopening of schools, the pediatrician said.