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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Doctors at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar performed a miracle when they pulled 15-day-old Gudia, who had contracted COVID19, from the jaws of death, kindling hope amid the despair situation.

However, the infection in the toddler has brought home the worst possible nightmare of Coronavirus pandemic; even little children are not spared from the virus.

Gudia, whose parents belong to Rampur, under Madanpur block in Kalahandi had tested positive for the dreaded virus just 15 days following her birth. Incidentally, all her family members were also tested positive.

She was shifted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar after her health deteriorated further. Even her major organs were on the brink of failure and she was gradually slipping into vegetative state.

However, the doctors at the hospital pulled out a miracle and saved the child after 20 days of treatment that included 10 days of ventilator support.

However, to pull this off, the doctors administered both steroids and Remdesivir to Gudia which are currently not allowed for infants, with the permission of her parents. And voila, the gamble paid off and she returned home happy and cured.

Dr Arjit Mohapatra, the doctor treating Gudia said, “The drugs were administered as a life saving measure under emergency authorisation use with parental consent. By God’s grace the child survived and discharged from hospital."

But, everyone does not have the same luck as Gudia. In a tragic development, a 10-year-old child succumbed to COVID19 at the MKCG hospital in Berhampur four days back. Following the death, two more children have been admitted to the same hospital and are currently struggling with COVID infection.

Dr. Sunil Agrawal, the Paediatrician at MKCH Hospital said, “While one baby boy is 10-days-old another is 16-days old. They both are in critical condition. While they tested COVID positive, their parents tested negative.”

All these cases bring us a terrifying proposition involving children and COVID19. The future of our nation who were by and large immune to the dreaded virus are now getting infected more often, even before the onset of the third wave.

With Coronavirus starting to infect the children, voices of concern grow stronger to accelerate the vaccination drive and introduce a vaccine that could be administered to children.

Ankita Moharana, a resident of Berhampur said, “I am scared thinking about the third wave. The Government should prioritise children’s vaccination.”

As per the experts, the first wave of Coronavirus that had hit last year targeted mostly senior citizens and the persons with co-morbid conditions, The second wave this year targeted youths. And if experts are to be believed, the third wave, which is inevitable, can attack children too.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSO) has already given its nod for phase 2 and 3 trials of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine developed for the age group of 2 -18.

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