No indication that children will be severely affected in the COVID19 third wave: Randeep Guleria, AIIMS director

Amid fear of the ‘third wave’, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria has clarified that there is no evidence of kids under threat from the next wave of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the health ministry claims the daily infections and active cases have observed a decline in the past few days.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: May 24th, 2021

Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS, during the media briefing. Photo: Twitter

As state after state prepares for the third wave of the COVID19 pandemic, Randeep Guleria, director of New Delhi-based All India Institute Of Medical Science [AIIMS] and a member of India’s COVID task force has clarified that there is no indication as of now of children being more vulnerable to the third wave of COVID-19.

“It has been said that children will be infected the most in the third wave but Pediatrics Association has said that this is not based on facts. It might not impact children so people should not fear,” said Guleria. He was speaking during an official media briefing today, May 24, at the National Media Centre, organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Earlier, some experts had pointed towards the possibility of children being more vulnerable to COVID19 infection in the third wave in the country.

Meanwhile, as per news reports, in the past couple of days, more than 600 children in Dungarpur and Dausa districts of Rajasthan have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

Last week, on May 20, Gaon Connection reported how a number of children in the age groups of 0-9 years and 10-19 years in Uttarakhand had fallen prey to COVID19. Official data shows that since April 1 this year, COVID cases among children in the 0-9 and 10-19 years’ age groups in the hill state have jumped by 155 per cent and 170 per cent, respectively, compared to the past one year.

Also Read: Sharp rise in COVID19 among children in Uttarakhand

Decline in daily cases

During the media briefing today, the joint secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal, informed that there is a steady decline in daily new COVID-19 cases across the country since the last 17 days.

As per the health ministry, there is a continuous decrease in cases since India reported the biggest spike on May 7, at 414,188 cases. Less than 300,000 daily cases have been recorded since May 17.

However, there is no relief in the COVID deaths in the country; 4,454 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (1,320). Karnataka follows with 624 daily deaths.

There is a decrease in high cases reported by districts in the country. Between April 28-May 21, 531 districts were reporting more than 100 daily cases. Between May 15-May 21, only 431 districts were reporting more than 100 daily cases.

In the last 24 hours, over 222,315 daily new cases were registered. Tamil Nadu has reported the highest daily new cases at 35,483, followed by Maharashtra with 26,672 new cases.

Decrease in active cases

Two weeks back, on May 10, India had 3.74 million active cases. As of today, the active cases in the country stand at 2.72 million.

Recovery rate is reporting a consistent increase since May 3 when the recovery rate was 81.8 per cent. As of May 23, the recovery rate stands at 88.7 per cent.

Highlighting the aggressive testing across the country, the joint secretary informed there is a 2.6 times increase in COVID tests in the past 15 weeks.

Besides, there is a steady decline in weekly positivity across the country since the last two weeks, informed the joint secretary. At 21.4 per cent, the highest percentage was reported between May 4 and May 10. This reduced to 12.9 per cent between May 18 and May 24.

As per the ministry, a larger number of districts are reporting less than 5 per cent of case positivity. 

Meanwhile, over 145.6 million total doses have been administered to people above 45 years. And 10.6 million first doses to people between the 18-44 age group.

Also Read: 50% drop in COVID19 vaccination in India in the past month, shows govt’s Co-WIN data