More than 34000 children below the of age 18 tested positive for COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic in Assam. The data was released by the National Health Mission, Assam on Monday, June 28.
A staggering 12 per cent of the total confirmed cases were of children in the state accounting for 34,606 cases out of the total 2.8 lakh confirmed cases reported between April 1 and June 26.
Out of the total positive cases in children, 5,755 children under five years of age, while 28,851 infections were recorded in the six to 18 age group. The positivity rate among children increased from eight per cent in the first wave to 12 per cent in the second wave.
"Among the children affected, most of them are in the 10 to 18 age group," Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said, reported by Northeast Today. He further added that several steps including starting pediatric ICUs in all medical colleges in the state, as well as district hospitals are being taken.
Kamrup(Metro) District With Highest Cases
With over 10 per cent of its total cases being children under age 18, Kamrup Metro recorded 5,346 cases in the under 18 population. It was followed by Dibrugarh with 2,430 COVID-19 cases among children, which was 12.19 percent of its 19,937 cases.
Nagaon was third with 2,288 out of the total 15,910 cases below 18 years of age. Nagaon was followed by Kamrup Rural and Sonitpur with 2,023 and 1,839 positive cases among children, respectively.
Children Catching COVID From Home Quarantined Parents
India Today, in its report, mentioned that many children caught the virus from their parents who opted for home quarantine to isolate themselves.
The NHM director further requested the parents to opt for institutional quarantine to avoid spreading the infection to children. It is important to note that the numbers are alarming especially at a time when the threat of a potential third wave is on the horizon and experts have warned children of being the most vulnerable to the next phase.