PUTRAJAYA MAR 9: The COVID-19 infection related to Omicron variant among children aged 0-11years is very worrying where the numbers have increased from 7,730 in 2020 to 379,245 in 2021.
Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin said, beginning January until mid-February 2022, 50,826 children aged 12 and below had been infected with COVID-19.
“Data had also shown that there was an increase of 68,893 children infected with COVID-19 between mid-February and March 2022 and the total of children under 12 infected with COVID-19 were 119,719,” Khairy said in a statement here today.
Elaborating on that Khairy said, the admission rate to the children’s ward Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) has also increased by 94 per cent for categories 3 until 5 with drastic increase in category 4 by 200 per cent while category 5 by 125 per cent.
The Health Minister also stressed that the Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is one of the critical conditions that could happen among children who have been infected with COVID-19 where inflammation to the internal organ could happen especially the heart, lungs and brain.
“Since June 2020 until December 2021, 174 children under 18 had been suffering from MIS-C as a result of COVID-19 infection. Up to date, seven cases (4 per cent) of children’s death were caused by MIS-C following COVID-19 infection,” Khairy said.
According to Khairy, the children are at risk to get Long-COVID (COVID-19 syndrome after the acute infection phase). Limited data obtained at this stage has shown the risk is much lower compared to the adults, however not much is known on the long term effect of Long COVID on children.
He also explained that children are at a higher risk to be infected with Omicron variant compared to the earlier variant as children are vulnerable group and have not received protection compared to the adults who have been vaccinated.
“The risk of Omicron variant infection will be increased if the children have co-morbidities or categorised as high risk children or immunocompromised example having chronic lungs, heart problem, poor body immune system, diabetes, under treatment using steroids (like autoimum and transplant) cancer asthmatic and obesity,” Khairy said.
On another development, Khairy said children and youngsters aged 17 and below regardless of the vaccination status need not be quarantined but only undergo the COVID-19 RTK test (Ag) within 24 hours after arrival in Malaysia.
“For those not fully vaccinated or did not receive any vaccination, the individual has to be quarantined for five days after arrival in Malaysia, After completing the quarantine, the individual has to follow the terms that have been set by the Malaysian government,” he said.
Khairy said, for example the traveller cannot dine-in at the restaurant because he is not fully vaccinated For travellers exempted from being vaccinated for health reasons the individual should download the exemption proof that was given by the medical officer in MySejahtera apps.
“Today I would like to introduce and launch the portal https://covidprotocol.moh.gov.my/ that contains the current individual protocol relating to COVID-19,” he said.
Khairy was explaining on the travellers’ protocols that will arrive on 1st April 2022 following the opening of the international borders to foreign travellers that was announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.
The Health Minister said that if a person is undergoing quarantine before 1st April 2022, the quarantine order have to end on 1st April. For example if an individual started his quarantine on 29th March then the quarantine will have to end on 1st April.-Malaysia World News