Over 9,900 children tested positive for COVID-19 in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra last month, a report said. The statistics have been revealed as the second wave of COVID-19 swept across the country in May with Maharashtra having high numbers of cases.
However, the district administration has claimed that around 95 percent of them who are tested positive are asymptomatic and the situation was not alarming.
According to District Collector Rajendra Bhosale, 9,928 children tested positive of the virus in Ahmednagar in May. Of the 9,928 minors, 6700 were in the age group of 11 to 18, 3100 were in the age group of 1 to 10 years while some were also below the age of one, as reported by India Today.
Bhosale further stated that since around 95 percent of them were asymptomatic, there is nothing to worry about. However, considering the threat of a possible third wave of COVID-19, it has now become paramount to take utmost care of children.
In-charge Dr Mansi Mahanor said while quoted by India Today said, “At present, there are 52 coronavirus positive kids under treatment at this Covid centre. All of them are showing mild symptoms and there are no complications.”
As the district continues to see more and more positive cases, local authorities are gearing up to build new Covid centres especially for children, which will be equipped with ICUs and ventilators.
According to state health surveillance officer Pradeep Awate, other districts in Maharashtra are also reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases in children.
“We are only vaccinating people above the age of 18 and so for coming months, those under the age of 18 are vulnerable to Covid-19…but we need to understand that overall the percentage of kids testing positive is same, nothing has changed,” he said.
Awate also stressed that age-specific mortality in children is low at 0.04 to 0.07 per cent and is in line with global trends.
Asked about the reason for such a big number of children contracting the disease, one health official said, “In most of the cases, the infection to minors comes from their parents or other adult members of the family,” the report said.
Considering the possibility of a third Covid-19 wave that may affect children, a task force comprising 10 senior paediatricians has also been formed in the district.