Since kids are unvaccinated and many of them cannot wear masks, hence, steps must be taken to protect them from COVID-19
India is in the mid of a third COVID wave with over two lakh cases being daily reported for the past six days. Just like the Delta variant during the second wave in March-May 2021, the third wave is accompanied by the rapid spread of Omicron, a heavily-mutated, fast-spreading COVID variant, which was first identified in South Africa and is a ‘variant of concern’, as classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). With COVID spreading fast, it’s crucial to take all necessary precautions against the novel coronavirus. Although it has been a year since India started its mass vaccination drive against COVID, there is still a section of population that is still ineligible for the jab. The Central government hasn’t opened vaccination for those below the age of 15. Highly vulnerable are the infants and young children who cannot wear masks and need constant care by the elders. So, what is the way to protect them from being infected? To get an answer to this question, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr Rakesh Tiwari, Senior Consultant, Pediatrics, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
According to Dr Tiwari, infants are at a less risk of contracting COVID infection. It’s because “they are not that mobile and usually stay in secure environment of their home,” he said. “They can only get exposed if any family member is infected and is in close contact,” the doctor added.
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The new Omicron variant is spreading fast in India. Hence, it’s crucial to protect kids both at home and otherwise. Hence, as per Dr Tiwari:
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In India, the mother is generally the primary caregiver of a child. In case she tests positive for COVID:
The mother is the primary caregiver. However, she isn’t the only family member the baby spends time with at home. If a member of a family that has an infant tests positive for COVID, the first thing the member should do is to self-isolate.
Hence, it’s crucial to stay in touch with the doctor and follow his/her advice sternly. Other than these, the family members should stay safe so that they not only protect themselves, but the kids also. Hence, wear masks, take good care of your hand hygiene, avoid crowded spaces and practice social distancing. These are crucial to stay protected against COVID.
(With inputs from Dr Rakesh Tiwari, Senior Consultant, Pediatrics, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram)
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