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Sharmili Mallick

With schools gradually re-opening following the ease in Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the State, the Director of the Directorate of Medical Education & Training (DMET) in Odisha, CBK Mohanty on Monday said that the infection in the age group 0-18 might rise proportionately in case the third wave hits the State.

“As almost all the people above 18 years have been vaccinated, the population in the age group 0 to 18 are still exposed to the virus. Therefore, if the third wave hits the State, the rate of infection might rise among the children and youngsters. However, the concerned population will be infected proportionately and predicting an absolute number is difficult now,” said Mohanty.

“Nearly 12 percent of Covid-19 infections in India are among children and if that data is considered, the positivity rate in children in Odisha is close to the national figure. A joint research conducted by the AIIMS and WHO revealed that similar number of children were infected during the first and the second waves. But, as children are mostly asymptomatic and the level of severity in them remain low, detecting the infection in them is difficult,” the DMET Chief asserted. 

“However, the sero survey revealed that the percentage of infection in children and adults are equal but it could not be manifested,” he added.

Speaking on how the school-going children can be prevented from contracting Coronavirus infection, Mohanty advised, “We have to keep the children in safe environment as they are yet to be vaccinated. The school teachers and staff should keep themselves away from Covid-19 infection and parents should be sensitized on how they can keep their wards away from infection at home. If the adults follow Covid appropriate behaviour strictly, people between 0 and 18 years can eventually be saved from getting infected,” added the DMET Director.

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