From March till September 8, civic health authorities registered 2.93 lakh Covid cases of which 10 per cent were children below 18 years of age.
There has a decline in Covid-19 cases in children in the city in the past two months, according to private hospitals, civic and state health authorities.
From March till September 8, civic health authorities registered 2.93 lakh Covid cases of which 10 per cent were children below 18 years of age. At least 29,056 children below 18 years were identified as Covid-19 patients of which 25 succumbed to the infection.
In the first Covid wave last year, 11.15 per cent of the 2.04 lakh Covid cases in Pune city were children below 18 years of age — accounting for 22,792 children of whom 31 died of infection-related complications.
Of the total 19.44 lakh Covid cases reported in the first wave across the state, 67,110 were children below 10 years of age and 1.29 lakh were in the 11-20 age group. Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said 45.62 lakh people have been infected with Covid-19 in Maharashtra till September 12 this year. Of this, 1.40 lakh cases were children below 10 years of age while 3.53 lakh were in the 11-20 age group.
A fall in new cases daily has also led to a decline in the number of Covid infections in children, health officials have said. Dr Sanjeev Wavare, Pune Municipal Corporation’s assistant health chief, said there has been a decline in daily new Covid cases in the city with only 190-200 cases being reported daily.
Dr Aarti Kinikar, head of the Pune paediatric Covid-19 task force and head of department of paediatrics at B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said there were at least two children who were Covid cases in the hospital and they are stable. Their parents had the infection and were admitted, Kinikar added.
Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical director at Bharati Hospital, said, “We had the maximum number of cases in April-May but that number has definitely declined.” Last month, there was only one child with Covid-19. With lower community spread and adult percentage positivity, there will be fewer Covid infections in children, Oswal said. At the hospital, too, swabs of children with respiratory symptoms do not test positive for Covid.
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Rise in RSV cases in children
However, of concern has been the rise in the number of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild and cold-like symptoms.
Sassoon General Hospital’s paediatric OPD has seen a rise in children with RSV followed by Influenza H3N2 and H1N1 virus infections.
Children have respiratory symptoms similar to that of Covid-19 and so, RT-PCR testing is done. “In our OPD, 90 per cent of children have RSV and they need supportive treatment,” Kinikar said, adding that there are almost 10-20 respiratory cases at the paediatric OPD at Sassoon Hospital.
Dr Umesh Vaidya, senior paediatrician at Cloudnine Hospital, said no child had been hospitalised over the past three months at their facility.
“We are instead treating a lot of cases of RSV,” Vaidya said. Dr Pramod Jog, former president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, said Covid-19 has been a priority and so, swabs of children with respiratory symptoms are also sent to the National Institute of Virology. Most of the reports are positive for RSV followed by influenza virus, Jog said.
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