A recent report by Karnataka’s women and child development department has revealed that 4.5 lakh children accounting for almost 11 percent of the state’s population of children are malnourished and underweight posing worry for India as it fears the onset of a third wave of Covid-19 likely to affect children the most.
The report was prepared in March 2021 after weighing 39,18,495 children in Anganwadi, says TOI. The public health experts contended that despite a decline in the rate of underweight children, malnourishment in 11% of kids is a concern, as their poor immunity may make them susceptible to the infection, complicating treatment and its recovery.
The National Family Health Survey of 2019-20 reported had that 8.4% of children in Karnataka are ‘severely waste and 32.9% are underweight.
Giridhara R Babu, member of the state’s technical advisory committee on Covid told TOI that cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome is reported among Covid-infected children hence the need of the hour is for the govt to collect data and take appropriate action to protect the children from further complication.
“Our surveys at various wards revealed that after the Covid-19 outbreak, people bought less foodgrains for family consumption. It has definitely affected the nutritional intake of children,” said Akhila Vasan, member of Karnataka Janarogya Movement to TOI.
Meanwhile, a sharp surge has been witnessed in the number of children and adolescents testing positive for coronavirus in Karnataka. According to a media report, the number of children aged between 0-9 years found infected in the past two months is 143 percent of the total Covid-19 cases registered till March 18 this year, while it was 160 percent in the age group of 10-19 years.
According to a report published in TOI, 39,846 children aged between 0-9 years and 1,05,044 aged between 10-19 years have tested Covid-19 positive between March 18 and May 18 in this second wave in 2021.
Speaking to TOI, paediatrician Dr. Srinivas Kasi said, “Within two days of a person being found infected for Covid-19, the rest of his/her family is also testing positive for infection.”
The daily coronavirus cases in Karnataka are witnessing a decline as the state registered 28,869 new infections, which were outnumbered by recoveries with 52,257 discharges. Out of the 28,869 new cases reported on Thursday, 9,409 were from Bengaluru Urban alone, and the city saw 25,776 discharges.