New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the concern over the third wave of coronavirus, the Centre on Tuesday said that it is focusing more on COVID-19 in children before the third wave of the deadly virus hits the country. Addressing a press briefing, NITI Aayog Member (Health), Dr VK Paul said that if the SARS-CoV-2 virus changes its nature, the impact of Covid-19 infection on children may increase.

He also said that the children who have contracted the COVID-19 are mostly asymptomatic or have minimal symptoms while asserting that the deadly virus has not taken serious shape in children so far. Two to three per cent of children may need hospitalisation, said Paul adding that the centre is keeping an eye on infections in children ahead of the third wave of covid.

"Our focus on childhood COVID disease is gaining our attention. The pediatric population is generally asymptomatic. They often get infections but their symptoms are minimal or nill. The infection has not taken serious shape in children. Although children get mild Covid and only 2-3% children may need hospitalisation, we are preparing for it. An expert group has been formed and new guidelines will be released," Dr VK Paul said.

Paul said that the coronavirus affects children in two ways. First, if the child contracts the virus, it is likely that he/she may witness pneumonia-like symptoms. However, Paul said that some children witness multi inflammatory syndrome two or three weeks after recovering from COVID-19.

"COVID-19 in children has been found in 2 ways— In first they have reported pneumonia-like symptoms. In second, some cases of a multi inflammatory syndrome found among children who recently recovered from C0VID19", Paul said.

Dr VK Paul, meanwhile, further stated that if the COVID-19 changes its behaviour in the coming times, its impact on children could be more severe. However, he asserted that the Centre is prepared for it and is also pushing up the pace for vaccination drive.

"But the virus may change its behaviour in the pediatric population. The impact of #COVID19 may increase in children. The data has shown that a low number of children are being admitted to hospitals. We're pushing preparedness", he said.

Meanwhile, concerned over reports that kids and rural India may be exposed more in the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court Monday asked the Centre whether any study on these aspects has been conducted.

The top court also asked the Centre about its responsibility on the regulation of prices of vaccines and said it has seen “prices of Remdesivir and some other medicines hitting the roof”.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan