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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Here is an emergency Covid-19 alert for the parents in Odisha. Echoing the national trend, in the last 72-hours, a high of 233 children in the age group of 0-14 years have been infected in the second wave. In the last 24-hrs, 82 of the total 1784 new positives are below 14-years.

Only recently, the Union Health Ministry had cautioned all the states, including Odisha, to take note that, unlike the ‘First Wave‘, children are getting infected in a major way in the second wave across the states in the country. The note of caution from the Centre to the states is there is no vaccine armoury for children, unlike the adults.

FOR PARENTS: CHECK THESE SYMPTOMS

If your kid has

  • A high-grade fever (102-102 deg C),
  • Blocked Nose
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Feeling Fatigued
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Headache and Exhaustion.. …

Then consult your doctors immediately.

TIME TO HANDLE WITH KID GLOVES

What the Union Health Ministry Data Says:

  • From March 1 to April 4, among the five worst-affected states in the nation, as many as 79,688 new positive cases have been of children.
  • MAHARASHTRA: The country’s top hotspot state has recorded a total of 60,684 new infections in the age group of below 14 years during the period of March 1 to April 4. Data shows, of the total, around 9,882 are below five years.
  • CHHATTISGARH: Around 5,940 children have been infected by the disease, where 922 of them are below the age of five.
  • KARNATAKA: During the above mentioned period, a total of 7,327 new infected ones belong below 14-years of age, and 871 of them belong to 5-years.
  • UTTAR PRADESH: The count in the most populous Indian state stood at around 3,004, of which 471 are below 5-years.

SECOND WAVE NO CHILD’S PLAY IN ODISHA

When contacted for the new infection data since March 1, the State Health department provided data for the last 3-days. The sub-age-group (means infection below 5-years and from 6-14) new infection data is not available.

“The second wave data is in a processing stage. Soon we will release the details,” said a very senior official in the State Health and Family Welfare Department.

IS IT A TIP OF THE ICEBERG?

As per the data accessed, during the last 3-days (Apri 10-12), a total of 233 new positives in the State belong to the age group of below 14-years. The statistics are very disconcerting when compared to the first wave.

  • During the last 72-hours, Odisha reported 4,903 new cases. The proportion of below 14-years age group has been around 5 per cent.
  • In the First Wave (during July -the pre-peak stage), the proportion of children in the tally of new positives in Odisha had been in the range of 3-4 per cent.

SAMPLE THE EVIDENCE OF INFECTIOUSNESS:

  • As per State Health Department data, the total Covid-19 positives in the State among the age group of below 14-years is estimated at 17,916.
  • The average infection per day from March 16, 2020, to date has been estimated at around 45.
  • But the last 3-days data put the average new positives per day at around 78.

WHY THE APRIL DATA IS IMPORTANT FOR ODISHA?

A look at the Union Health Ministry data shows that though the second wave in most of the top-5, except UP, has begun from mid-February, the cases posted a spike in around March second week when the infection took a virulent turn in the Covid-19 epicentres in the country.

Since the second wave in Odisha took off only in March last week, the daily infection cases post-April first week assumes significance, and the data for the last 72-hours seems apparently an alert.

INFECTION CHART OF OTHER AGE-GROUPS

During the last 48 hours, a whopping 54 per cent of new positives belong to the age group of 15-40 years (college-going and a chunk of working age group populace).

  • In the 41-60 years age group, the share of new positives in the total new cases during the last 2-days stood at around 31 per cent.
  • The pie of the elderly populace (60+ years) has been estimated at around 9 per cent.

In the First Wave, the 15-40 age group had a 64 per cent proportion in the total burden during July 2020 (when the State crossed the 1k mark cases daily).

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