Andhra Pradesh

Panic spreads in Chittoor as 15 children test positive

Amid the looming threat of a COVID third wave, children are seen playing without masks at a lane in Chittoor.  

Fear of a dreaded third wave is gripping Chittoor district after it emerged that 15 children under the age of 10 had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Health officials confirmed on Monday that two children are currently on ventilator at the children’s hospital, an ancillary wing of the SVRR Government Hospital in Tirupati.

Sources said the number of children being taken to testing centres is on the rise in the past few days. Though there were isolated cases of infection among children since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, the number of children now testing positive is unnerving parents.

District Medical and Health Officer U. Sreehari told The Hindu that an emergency virtual conference was held with medical officers at the mandal-level on Monday to take stock of the situation, keeping in view the threat of a third wave. Parents were advised to get their children tested for the virus immediately in case they showed any symptoms.

It is observed that when the children are infected with the virus, they would be mostly asymptomatic and pose the risk of infecting their parents and other elderly family members. In spite of the lockdown strictures, many children in the age group of 5-12 are to be found actively meeting each other in their neighborhoods. News of COVID cases and casualties coming down across the country has led many people to drop their guard and allow their children to mingle with their friends in the evenings, which can prove to be risky, said doctors.

Doctors also dismissed fears that prolonged wearing of masks would be dangerous for children. “With the threat of the third wave looming large, there should be no room for such silly theories,” said a senior paediatrician in Chittoor.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 7:26:41 AM |

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