Children hospitalised with COVID-19 had comorbidities – Health Ministry

…no fatalities for 2nd day

The Health Ministry has informed that all four children who were recently hospitalised after contracting COVID-19 had underlying comorbidities.
Sounding concern over this trend was the Health Ministry via a statement, amid recent statistics which show that 1500 children were infected between March 2020 and this year.
“When the Minister made the disclosure, it was the first time the country had four COVID-19 hospitalised children, and apart from COVID-19, each of these children had underlying comorbidities,” the Ministry disclosed.
Recorded cases of children contracting the novel coronavirus globally has seen a sharp jump from 2020 to this year, amid the circulation of variants and other factors.
The percentage of infection among children in Guyana is not unlike what has been seen in other countries over time. In 2020, globally, children accounted for three to 12 per cent of COVID-19 virus detection rates. In 2021, the rates have jumped to 22 per cent in most countries due to various COVID-19 variants.
“In all our engagement with the public, we tried to explain this risk that children face…The recent more aggressive cases in adults and now some children underline the caution the Minister and the Ministry have been vigorously making the last several months that there is a more aggressive form of COVID-19 virus circulating in Guyana,” the missive cautioned.
In Guyana, among the total detected cases so far, positive children represent about seven per cent. Even though Guyana has recorded children testing positive for COVID-19 in the past, as did every single country in the world, it was pointed out that the increase in hospitalisation of children with COVID-19 is worrying.
Since the epidemic started, between five and 10 per cent of positive cases in Guyana have been children – between newborn and 16 years of age. Most of the cases have been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and were only detected through the Ministry’s surveillance programme, such as testing in school dorms.
“While the Ministry in the past did not disaggregate the total results as per age group in our daily reporting, we highlighted those occasions when children were found positive for the COVID-19 virus, even if our reporting did not keep a running count.”
The statement also added that the COVID-19 virus is transmissible across all age groups. In children, the disease is usually mild and often asymptomatic. However, in rare cases, children can become seriously ill and need hospitalisation and intensive care. One of the possible adverse outcomes has been termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The overall mortality of MIS-C is approximately one to two per cent.
“It is also the reason why we have been pushing the vaccination programme so robustly among our people. Right now, the responsible thing is for us to encourage persons to get vaccinated to prevent hospitalisation and deaths.”
As of July 2, within the age group of one month to four years, 287 children were infected – comprising of 148 males and 139 females. Between the five to nine age group, there were 524 infections after 273 males and 251 females were infected. From 10 to 14, 342 males and 414 females tested positive, amounting to 756 persons.
After disclosing these figures, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony called on parents and guardians to ensure that kids follow the COVID-19 measures in light of this new development.
“I think it’s important that we take the necessary precautions, especially with our children to make sure that they are protected, they wear a mask when it’s necessary because the virus as can see can affect children and I don’t think a lot of people have paid attention to that and therefore it’s time that we pay some attention to this, especially now that we’re seeing not just the mild cases in children but we’re seeing more severe forms of covid among the children population,” he was quoted as saying. (G12)