New Delhi:
COVID-19 in children is often asymptomatic and rarely require hospitalisation, however it is possible that a small percentage of children who get infected may need hospitalization and the Centre is making all adequate arrangements in terms of healthcare infrastructure to provide effective care and treatment to them, accroding to the Union health ministry.

The ministry on Wednesday put out a statement detailing responses by experts over several questions raised in the media regarding higher vulnerability of children to get adversely impacted by COVID-19 during the subsequent waves.

Dr VK Paul, Member Health at NITI Aayog said that COVID-19 in children is often asymptomatic and rarely require hospitalisation. "However, changes in epidemiological dynamics or viral behaviour can change the situation and increase prevalence of infection. No undue burden has been placed on paediatric care infrastructure so far. However, it is possible that 2 per cent – 3 per cent of children who get infected may need hospitalization."

"Adequate arrangements are being made in terms of healthcare infrastructure in order to provide effective care and treatment to children who may get infected," he added

Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi has said that there is no data, either from India or globally, to show that children will be seriously infected in subsequent waves.

"Healthy children recovered with mild illness without need for hospitalisation while the ones admitted in the hospital due to COVID19 infection during the second wave in India either had co-morbidities or low immunity," he added.

Dr N K Arora, Chairperson of the COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) had in a media briefing on June 25 that Covaxin trials have been started on children aged between 2 – 18 years and the results for the same will be received by September to October this year. He said that children may catch the infection, but they will not get seriously ill, the health ministry said.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued guidelines for 'Management of COVID-19 in children (below 18 years) on June 18. The document provides detailed guidance on symptoms, various treatments, monitoring and management including Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), advice for using masks etc.

The ministry and experts have also emphasised on the need for COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) for children as well as adults to break the chain of transmission of the virus.