Covid-19 Resurgence: 15 more children infected in Gautam Budh Nagar, experts gave THIS advice

New Delhi:

The Gautam Budh Nagar health department is concerned about the rise in cases of children, officials said on Thursday. Officials said that as per the data for the last three days, 31% of all the cases reported in Gautam Budh Nagar were children. In Uttar Pradesh, this number is slightly less at 21%.

Gautam Budh Nagar reported 44 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, of which 15 were children. On Wednesday, 33 cases were reported, of which 10 were children, and on Tuesday, 20 cases were reported, of which eight were children, the data showed.

However, the rate of infection among children in Gautam Budh Nagar is higher than ever before. Doctors and health experts are against the closure of schools, which may cause unnecessary panic among parents. Experts also say that the opening of schools may not be the primary reason for the increase in cases.

Brigadier Dr Rakesh Gupta (Retd), Director, Government Institute of Medical Sciences, said, “We need to realize that almost all adults are fully vaccinated, while there is a vaccine available for children below the age of 12 years as well. It is likely that more children are being affected, as they are not immunized. Additionally, COVID-appropriate behavior has suddenly stopped. People have completely stopped wearing masks and sanitizing themselves in the last few days. That’s exactly when the cases started increasing.”

Doctors suggest that schools remain open with necessary precautions, Covid-19 guidelines and better vaccination of children.

Dr DK Gupta, President, Felix Hospital said, “Schools are already closed for almost two years, which is not healthy for the overall development of the children. If schools are closed again, the overall development of the children will be affected, which includes their mental, social, emotional and spiritual development. It only comes with interaction with their peers and teachers.”

Instead, COVID-appropriate behaviour, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, should be re-mandated, he said.

Dr Gupta said, “What is urgently needed is better immunization of children. Vaccines must also be approved for children under the age of 12. Additionally, Corbevax should be allowed for the age group of 12-15 even in private hospitals for better coverage. The health department needs to encourage more and more people to get their children vaccinated at the earliest.”

Chief Medical Officer of Gautam Budh Nagar, Dr Sunil Sharma also said that people should not panic. He said that while there has been an increase in the cases of Kovid, it is not a wave, as the daily increase in the cases is not that far away. He also said that schools will not be asked to close unless multiple cases are reported from one school.

Meanwhile, with 44 and 18 new coronavirus cases respectively, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad contributed nearly 69% of the Covid-19 cases reported in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, officials said. 

According to the health department, 90 new Covid-19 cases were registered in the state on Thursday. While the positivity rate of Gautam Budh Nagar was less than 1% till a week ago, it is now 5.5%. Ghaziabad also recorded a marginal increase in the positivity rate from 0.12% a week ago to 0.19% now.

The positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who test positive for the virus, compared to all those who have been tested for it.

Officials said the state is now focusing on two districts and will send more samples for genome sequencing to determine which type of COVID-19 the patient has contracted. Health officials said the new XE variant of coronavirus is already causing a surge in cases in Gujarat and some other states.

Dr Sunil Sharma said, “We held a meeting at the state level and certainly there has been an increase in the number of cases in Noida and Ghaziabad. This is because both these cities are the gateways of the state directly connected to Delhi, where the cases are also increasing. On Thursday, we sent all samples with Ct values less than 30 for genome sequencing.”

The Ct value or cycle threshold value refers to the number of cycles required for the virus to reach a detectable stage – the lower the Ct value, the higher the infection or viral load. Therefore, samples with low Ct values are sent for genome sequencing.

Sharma said that although no case of the new XE variant of Covid-19 has been found in Gautam Budh Nagar so far, 68 samples were sent to the National Center for Disease Control for genome sequencing on Thursday.


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