Like elsewhere, children of Arunachal Pradesh too are getting infected by Covid-19. In 2020, a total of 1,380 children (702 boys and 678 girls) below 18 year of age were infected and one boy child died. However, the number of infected children rose to 5,982 till July this year. Out of that, 2,986 are boys and 2,996 are girls. Four children, 1 boy and 3 girls, died till 22nd July 2021, according to state epidemiologist-cum-state surveillance officer Dr Lobsang Jampa.
In fact, an eight-month-old infant was taken by his parents from Naharlagun's Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) to North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) in Shillong by travelling over 420 kms on road for treatment. The baby boy died within hours after being admitted to the Shillong hospital.
Meghalaya director of health services Dr. Aman Warr said that the kid was referred to by TRIHMS and immediately on arrival in the morning of 5th July, the baby was admitted to the hospital's isolation ward as he was showing symptoms of COVID-19. But unfortunately, he died within hours. "The result of his swab test, which came later, confirmed that he was infected, but the kid's parents and an attendant had tested negative," Warr said.
State immunization officer Dr Dimong Padung, when asked, said that awareness about steps to protect children from the deadly virus, as per Union H & FW Ministry guidelines, are being conducted across the State.Interestingly, two COVID-19 infected mothers had given birth to healthy babies at a dedicated COVID Hospital in Pasighat, HQ of East Siang district, in October 2020. A 35-year-old woman from Aalo had delivered a healthy baby after undergoing lower segment caesarian section (LSCS) operation. Another woman from Jarku had also undergone the same operation. Both operations were conducted by a team of doctors led by gynaecologist Dr B Karlo, according to East Siang DMO Dr Kaling Dai.
State immunization officer Dr Dimong Padung, when asked, said that awareness about steps to protect children from the deadly virus, as per Union H & FW Ministry guidelines, are being conducted across the State. The medical staff: doctors, nurses and frontline workers have been doing their best. The parents should be more careful about their children and ensure that they follow COVID appropriate behavior, he added.
The Central Government has proposed to launch vaccination for the 12-17 years age group soon, may be by September next. He also said that given India's poor medical infrastructure, particularly for children, it is prudent to anticipate that COVID-19 may catapult many complications. The doctors, nurses and medical staff, therefore, should be trained specifically to take care of children if the third wave disproportionately impact children, Dr Padung added.