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‘Children not immune to COVID-19’

19 Apr 2020

The Ministry of Health has said the general belief that children will not be infected by COVID-19 is not true, as a number of children of various ages including infants have fallen prey to COVID-19 in the sultanate.  

Dr Jumana bint Ahmed al Abdawani, Head of Child Health in the Directorate General of Primary Healthcare of the Ministry of Health, stressed on strict preventive measures to be followed for children too. “Wash hands with water and soap, disinfect surfaces, door handles and children’s toys too. Adhere to community isolation not only between adults but also among children.”  

Children should be made to drink lots of water and other liquids in order to reduce the symptoms if infected by COVID-19. 

 

Less susceptible

Dr Jumana however also highlighted the study which shows that the number of children infected with COVID-19 is less than the adults. 

“According to specialists, the reason is the lack of receptors in the alveoli of children’s lungs which are cells used by the virus to attack the body, along with the difference of protein in the surface of child’s lung cells. The virus utilises the protein to enter those cells and consequently replicates.”

Dr Jumana also pointed out that studies on the features of this virus are continuing, and some studies indicate the possibility of the transmission of the virus by faeces. “However, in the case of infectious viruses, the mother will be provided with particular preventive instructions and guidance such as wearing gloves and face masks, washing hands with water and soap and disinfecting all areas after cleaning the baby to avoid transmission of infection to the mother and the others. In case the baby is under institutional isolation, the medical team will be responsible for cleaning him/her and involving the parents in order to familiarise them with all preventive measures.”

Timely vaccinations 

Dr Jumana also stressed the  necessity of taking scheduled vaccinations as they are the best way to protect child from different diseases.  “A number of controls and preventive measures have been placed by the Ministry of Health in the health centres such as isolating the vaccination centres, limiting the visiting hours.  “Nurses will be made  responsible for providing  vaccine and registering the child instead of the medical records staff.”

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