Even as the children population (0-18 years) has been braving the pandemic onslaughts without a shot in the arm, the upshot in Odisha is only 0.68 percent of the child population had contracted the virus.
On the other hand, 19 in every 100 elderly persons have been infected by the Wuhan, Delta and Omicron. And nearly 4 in every 100 population in the age group of 19-60 years had developed Covid infection during the three waves.
When the thrust on vaccinating the child population below 18-years is gaining momentum across countries, from the USA, UK to India, the real infection count of children in Odisha drops a big epidemiological hint.
As per the data available with the Odisha Health Department, since the advent of the pandemic and as on January 16, 2022, Odisha has recorded a total of over 1 lakh infections among the child population in the age group of 0-18 years.
Since March 2020, the State has registered a total of 11.44 lakh Covid infections. Though the infections per lakh in Odisha has been measured at 2,598, the infection among children seems very negligible.
No Child's Play For Virus
Even as in absolute numbers, the total children infections in the State has crossed the 1 lakh mark on Jan 16, the rate of infection per lakh among the 0-18 years has been estimated at 677.
On the contrary, the total infections since the beginning in the age group of 60 plus years have been only 99,286, the infections per lakh elderly people have been estimated at a high of around 19,112.
The comparative data between the two extreme age groups has clearly shown which age group has been highly susceptible to the pandemic virus.
Viral Growth In 19-60 years
A further glance at the State Health Department data reveals that the total infections among the age group of 19-60 years since the start of the pandemic and as of Jan 16, 2022, has been counted at 9,44,381. The rate of infection per lakh in the age group is estimated at around 3,831.
The per lakh infection data outlined that the rate of infection among children has been the lowest in the State.
Elderly Impacted Most
A glance at the positive count per lakh in the three main age groups in the State quite clearly indicated that it is the elderly population that has been impacted greatly in the pandemic. And the least impacted age group has been the child population in 0-18 years.
Child Infection In Three Waves
A study of the infections in the age group during the three waves of the pandemic further reveals that the age group of 0-18 years had recorded nearly 69,000 infections during the second wave as against around 21,000 during the first wave.
From the start of the third wave (Dec 26, 2021) to till date ( Jan 16, 2022), the infections in the age group has been counted at 8963.
The data analysis further shows that while during the third wave, around 344 children in the age group 0-18 years were infected every day, the infection among children per day during the long second wave (March 15 - Dec 25) stood at 241.
However, during the first wave (March 2020 to March 15, 2021), the number of children infected every day stood at around 62.
The above comparison shows that the spread of infection among children has been higher in the third wave, though a quantum spread had been recorded during the second wave.
Vaccination And Covid
A glance at the age group wise infections in Odisha very clearly outlined the impact of vaccination and Covid-19 infection.
As the 0-18 years in the State has been unvaccinated, the infection per day has been faster in the third wave vis-a-vis a big drop in per day infections among the elderly population - where almost 98 percent are fully inoculated in the State.