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'Unscientific To Say 3rd COVID Wave Will Impact Children More,' Argues AIIMS' Dr Guleria

Delhi AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria says there has not been any evidence that shows the impact of a potential 3rd wave of COVID will be more on children

ANI, Pixabay, Shutterstock

As India continues to reel under the unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Monday made a massive statement, saying that to say that the potential third wave of COVID-19 will impact children would be unscientific; at the same time we must prepare.

Dr Guleria said, 'If we see the two waves (so far), one group that has seen fewer cases or mild cases has been children. The virus is the same. To say that in the next wave the cases will be more in kids does not seem scientifically right. But we should prepare as the hypothesis is that the children are now protected - that they could see more cases as they've so far not gone to schools or colleges and have been at home... When they go, they'll meet other kids, and cases can rise.'

He continued, 'But so far, the data says that the infection in kids will be mild, they won't need infection. We've also seen in our hospital that the the kids who have been admitted have been kids with co-morbidities - for example, cancer patients with chemo ongoing - if they get COVID that's serious. Healthy children have had mild cases, most haven't needed treatment.'

Statement on Third-wave of COVID and Children causes panic, diplomatic wrangle

Over the past few weeks, starting with a statement of the Principal Scientific Advisor of the Government of India, the idea has been perpetuated that the third COVID wave may target children, with the reasons for this not properly explained. Some commentators have claimed that by such time, if children are not vaccinated but other groups are, they would constitute a natural segment of people the virus may next 'jump' to. The entire snafu over Arvind Kejriwal labelling the B.1.617.2 variant of COVID as the variant from Singapore also was fundamentally based on the Singaporean government shutting down schools owing to the growing cases among children and the variant's higher infectability. In the diplomatic and political row that followed, Delhi's Dy CM Manish Sisodia issued an impassioned appeal to 'save our Children'. Vaccinations for Children are also set to undergo clinical trials, with the Covaxin trial being set to begin in June.

Dr Guleria: 'Fungal infection is not a communicable disease'

As the country continues to report more cases of Black Fungus (Mucormycosis), White Fungus & now even Yellow Fungus, the Delhi AIIMS Director said that the colour of the fungus can be seen directly if it develops in different areas. Dr Randeep Guleria said that fungal infection is not a communicable disease.

Dr Randeep Guleria said, "Some of the most common symptoms of Mucormycosis are one-sided facial swelling, headache, nasal or sinus congestion, black lesions on nasal bridge or upper mouth that quickly become more severe and fever."

Remarking that chronic fatigue syndrome is seen in post-COVID cases, the AIIMS Director said that this syndrome requires symptomatic treatment. He further mentioned that there's another post COVID symptom, which is termed as "Brain Fog". "This symptom is seen in a COVID recovered patient, who is facing difficulty in concentration," he added.  Dr Guleria said that patients having "Brain Fog" suffer from insomnia and depression as well. 

Mentioning further details of the post COVID symptoms, Dr Randeep Guleria said that the symptoms, which are seen for 4-12 weeks are called "ongoing COVID" or "post-acute COVID syndrome". The health expert also said that if such post COVID symptoms are seen for more than 12 weeks, then the condition is called "post COVID syndrome"

COVID-19 situation in India

As the world continues to battle against the pandemic, India so far has recorded over  2,67,52,447 positive cases, out of which, 2,37,28,011 have successfully recovered and 3,03,720 have died. As per the latest reports from MoHFW, in the past 24 hours, 2,22,315 new cases, 3,02,544 fresh cases and  4,454 deaths have been reported. Currently, the total number of active cases in the state is 27,20,716. 

(Image: ANI, Pixabay, Shutterstock)

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