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New COVID-19 strain dangerous for children: Experts

(Asian News Hub) – In what should worry Indian parents the most, an increasing number of children are now being infected with Covid-19 along with serious symptoms in the ongoing lethal second wave. Delhi based doctors urged parents not to take their kids out and expose them to the virus.

Earlier, the novel coronavirus showed very mild or no effect in children. However, in its second run, the virus is turning out to be much severe for both children as well as adults under 45.

“Lots of new cases of Covid-19 infections in children are coming in this second wave and the numbers are much, much higher than they were earlier,” said Dr Krishan Chugh, Director and head of the department of paediatrics at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon.

In most children who are affected by Covid-19, the symptoms present are mild fever, cough, cold and abdominal issues. Some are even complaining of body pain, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in an October 2020 document, reported that Covid-19 is much less frequent in children than in adults. Children and adolescents represented about 8 per cent of reported cases (and 29 per cent of the global population).

But in the second wave, “all age group of children, even below 1 year, are getting affected”, Dr Sarita Sharma, Senior Consultant Pediatrician at PSRI Hospital Saket, told IANS.

“With the new wave of Covid, children are more symptomatic,” Sharma added.

The situation is far different from last year for the children.

“More kids are now being affected with high fever up to 103-104 degrees Celsius, which is persistent for 5-6 days,” Dr Dhiren Gupta, senior consultant paediatrician at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi told IANS.

“There are few cases that have escalated to pneumonia, and required oxygen and other respiratory support,” Chugh said.

According to Dr Gupta, the saving grace is that compared to adults, the rate of pneumonia in kids is less.

Some kids are also reporting more severe complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) — a rare inflammatory condition with persistent fever. It generally occurs 2-4 weeks after the onset of Covid.

The experts said that mild symptoms in children should not be ignored, and parents must look out for symptoms such as diarrheoa, breathing problems and lethargy, particularly after fever, said Chugh.

Parents must be careful in recognising such problems in kids, as early intervention would help in better outcome.

“If the fever persists for 5-6 days, parents must monitor the blood pressure of their kids. However, there is no need for checking their oxygen levels with pulse oximeters, as they are highly unlikely to face oxygen saturation. The devices are unfit for kids,” Gupta informed.

While vaccines for kids are still under trial and may take months before it can be tested and proved beneficial for kids, the only remedy is to wear masks, maintain hand hygiene and social distancing.

“Do not take your kids out and expose them to the virus. Avoid every possible reason for infections, even via you,” Chugh advised.

IANS

National

Kangana Ranaut tests positive for COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Kangana Ranaut on Saturday said she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is under home quarantine.

The 34-year-old actor, whose Twitter account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of rules earlier this week, shared her diagnosis on Instagram.

“I was feeling tired and weak with slight burning sensation in my eyes for past few days, was hoping to go to Himachal so got my test done yesterday and today the result came I am covid positive.

“I have quarantined myself, I had no idea this virus is having a party in my body,” she wrote.

Terming COVID-19 a “small time flu”, Ranaut said she is determined to “destroy” the virus from her body.

“…Now that I know I will demolish it, people please don’t give anything any power over you, if you are scared it will scare you more, come let’s destroy this Covid -19 it is nothing but a small time flu which got too much press and now psyching few people,” she added.

On Friday, Mumbai reported 3,040 new COVID-19 cases and 71 fresh fatalities.

PTI

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COVID situation going from bad to worse; PM, health min refuse to own responsibility: Chidambaram

(Asian News Hub) – Asserting that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is going from bad to worse, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are refusing to own responsibility and are making a “mockery of democratic principles”.

His remarks came after the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday showed a record 4,14,188 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day in India, raising the country’s tally to 2,14,91,598. The active cases have crossed the 36-lakh mark.

“The pandemic situation is going from bad to worse. The insufficient supply of vaccines is a hard, bitter truth, but the government is in denial,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“In Tamil Nadu, not all among 45 plus are getting the first dose and a small number the second dose. Nobody between 18 and 44 is getting the vaccine,” he claimed.

The situation in other states is not very different, Chidambaram added.

“The PM and the Health Minister refuse to own responsibility and are making a mockery of democratic principles,” the former Union minister alleged.

PTI

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Govt’s failures have made another national lockdown inevitable: Rahul Gandhi to PM

(Asian News Hub) – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the government’s alleged failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable, and called for providing financial and food support to the most vulnerable.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he suggested that the government should not be concerned about the economic impact of the lockdown as the human cost of the spread of of the virus would have tragic consequences for the people.

“Your government’s lack of a clear and coherent Covid and vaccination strategy, as well as its hubris in declaring premature victory as the virus was exponentially spreading, has placed India in a highly dangerous position: today the disease is growing explosively.

“It is currently on the verge of overwhelming all of our systems. GOI’s failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable,” he told the prime minister.

India has seen a record number of 4.14 lakh fresh Covid cases and around 4000 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Gandhi said it is critical that our people are prepared for such an eventuality of a lockdown. He has been demanding that the government provides Rs 6000 in the accounts to each poor family to tide over the crisis.

“To prevent a repeat of the manifold suffering caused by last year’s lockdown, the government must act with compassion and provide critical financial and food support to our most vulnerable people,” he said, adding that it must be also ready with a transportation strategy for those who will require it.

The former Congress chief said that when the COVID-19 tsunami continues to ravage our country unabated, the people of India must be your foremost priority in such an unprecedented crisis.

“I urge you to do everything in your power to stop the needless suffering that our people are going through,” he said.

Gandhi also called for rapidly vaccinating the entire population and dynamically assess the efficacy of all vaccines against all new mutations as they are identified.

He also called for scientifically tracking the virus and its mutations across the country using genome sequencing as well as its disease patterns.

Gandhi also urged the government to be transparent and keep the rest of the world informed about our findings.

“I am aware that you are concerned about the economic impact of a lockdown. Inside and outside India, the human cost of allowing this virus to continue its march unimpeded will result in many more tragic consequences for our people than any purely economic calculations your advisors are suggesting,” he said in his letter to PM.

PTI

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