AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that there is no data, from India or internationally, to indicate children will be severely infected in the next wave of Covid-19.
Dr. Guleria, addressing a joint press conference on the Covid-19 situation, said it is misinformation that following waves of the Covid-19 pandemic are going to cause serious illness in children.
He said, “there is no data – either from India or globally – to show that children will be seriously infected in subsequent waves.”
He added that 60 – 70 percent of the children, who got infected and were admitted in hospitals during the second wave in India, either had co-morbidities or low immunity, whereas healthy children recovered with mild illness without the need for hospitalization.
He noted waves usually occur in pandemics caused due to respiratory viruses, for example the 1918 Spanish Flu, H1N1 (swine) flu. The 1918 Spanish Flu’s second wave was the largest, after which there was a small third wave.
The AIIMS director said multiple waves occur when there is a vulnerable population and when a large part of the population gain immunity against the virus, it becomes indigenous and the infection becomes seasonal like the H1N1 that mostly spreads during monsoon or winters. Waves can appear due to the changes in virus. Since new variants become more infectious, there is a higher chance for the spread of the virus.
He requested people to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
He added whenever cases increase, people fear and they strictly follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and non-pharmaceutical interruptions help to break the chain of transmission. But when unlocking begins people tend to think that not much infection will spread and do not follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Due to this, the virus once again starts spreading in the community, leading decisively to another wave.
He said to stop upcoming waves, we need to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour until we are sure that a notable number of our population is vaccinated or has gained natural immunity. When enough people are vaccinated or gain natural immunity against the virus, then finally these waves will stop. The only way out of this is to aggressively follow COVID appropriate behaviour.
Joint Secretary of the Union Health Ministry, Luv Agarwal said 86,498 fresh Covid-19 cases have been registered in the past 24 hours.
He added there is almost 79 percent decrease in cases since the highest reported peak in daily fresh cases. Last week, a 33 percent decline was noticed in overall reported cases and 322 districts have seen a decrease in daily cases in past one month.
The overall recovery rate has increased to 94.3 percent and 6.3 percent overall decline in positivity rate between June 1 to June 7. There is a 33 percent decrease in the number of cases in past one week and a 65 percent drop in the active cases. There are 15 states with less than 5 percent positivity.