Most of the drugs used for coronavirus treatment among adult COVID-19 patients must not be prescribed for children infected with the virus, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday, June 17.
In its guidelines, the ministry listed down the medications, including Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Favipiravir, and antibiotics like Doxycycline and Azithromycin. The medicines are not recommended as they haven't been so far tested on children.
The government also laid instructions for operationalising COVID-care services for children and directed the states to increase the existing COVID facilities for children with acute infection, The Mint reported.
In addition, pediatric care must continue even in COVID facilities, and parents must be allowed to accompany the child, the ministry said. "For children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome who test negative for the virus, care has to be provided by the existing pediatric facilities," the media quoted the statement.
About the vaccination, the Centre said once the approval is received from all the concerned health bodies, they would start the immunisation process and will prioritise children with co-morbidities and severe symptoms.
Potential Third COVID Wave
The guidelines have been released amid the growing anticipation of the third wave and the current surge in the number of cases in India. They are based on sero-surveillance reports.
The ministry called for a combined effort by the public and the private sector to curb the rising number of cases once the lockdown is relaxed. The hospitals have been directed to increase the healthcare workforce and impart adequate training.
Among children, most are asymptomatic or have mild illness and are manageable at home by parents. For the symptomatic patients, paracetamol for fever suffices, besides monitoring oxygen level and pulse rates, as per the guidelines.
The ministry said that ASHA and Multipurpose Healthcare Workers (MPW) can be involved in managing children at home and if needed for referral and admission.