Covid-19 virus may change behaviour in children, says Dr VK Paul

Covid-19 virus may change behaviour in children, says Dr VK Paul Children undergoing treatment at a COVID-19 care centre, during the second wave of coronavirus epidemic in India, in Sangli, May 28, 2021. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare experts have raised concern over Covid-19 infection among children during a press briefing on the actions taken, preparedness, and updates on the Covid situation in India. Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said on Tuesday that the coronavirus diseases have been gaining their attention as the infection is not taken seriously as children are largely asymptomatic or show minimal signs.
Our focus on childhood COVID disease is gaining our attention. The pediatric population is generally asymptomatic. They often get infections but their symptoms are minimal or nill. The infection has not taken serious shape in children, ” Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday.
When asked about the probable change that may be witnessed in the Covid-19 virus, Dr Paul said that within the pediatric population the virus may change and warned that the pathogen may become more impactful. He added that they are taking all necessary precautions and are preparing for any impact, which Covid-19 disease may show among children.
“The virus may change its behaviour in the pediatric population. The impact of COVID19 may increase in children. The data has shown that a low number of children are being admitted to hospitals. We’re pushing preparedness, he added. 
Dr Paul went on to explain Covid-19 disease has been prevalent in the pediatric population in two ways. One, the disease exhibits pneumonia-like symptoms among young children and second, it causes multi inflammatory syndrome, in children who have recovered from the disease.
COVID19 in children has been found in 2 ways— In first they have reported pneumonia-like symptoms. In second, some cases of a multi inflammatory syndrome found among children who recently recovered from C0VID19,  elaborated Dr VK Paul.
While India continues to battle the second wave of Covid-19, many scientists believe that the third wave will mostly affect children. However, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria denied these claims.
“It has been said that children will be infected the most in the third wave, but the Paediatrics Association has said that this is not based on facts. It might not impact children so people should not fear,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, according to ANI on May 24.
With the Covid-19 inoculation program gaining momentum for 18 years and above, the Centre is yet to give its nod to vaccinate children younger than 18 years. Pharma companies like Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson are scrabbling to conduct clinical trials to develop vaccine doses for young children.
(with inputs from ANI)

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