AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday said there is no data, either from India or internationally, to show that children will be seriously infected in any next wave of COVID-19.
Addressing a joint press conference on the COVID-19 situation here, Dr Guleria said it is a piece of misinformation that subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to cause severe illness in children.
He said 60 – 70 percent of the children, who got infected and got admitted in hospitals during the second wave in India, had either co-morbidities or low immunity, and healthy children recovered with mild illness without need for hospitalization.
“Waves normally occur in pandemics caused due to respiratory viruses – the 1918 Spanish Flu, H1N1 (swine) flu are examples. The second wave of the 1918 Spanish Flu was the biggest, after which there was a smaller third wave,” the AIIMS director said.
“Multiple waves occur when there is a susceptible population. When a large part of the population acquires immunity against the infection, the virus becomes endemic and infection becomes seasonal – like that of H1N1 that commonly spreads during monsoon or winters. Waves can occur due to change in the virus (such as new variants). Since new mutations become more infectious, there is a higher chance for the virus to spread,” he said.
“Overall recovery has increased to 94.3 percent (both home isolation +medical infrastructure) and 6.3 percent overall decrease in positivity between June 1 to June 7. There is a 33 percent decline in the number of cases in the last week and a 65 percent reduction in active cases. There are 15 states with less than 5 percent positivity,” he added.