(CMC) – Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Friday called on parents to ensure that all the health measures are followed to prevent their children from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that children from as young as one-month-old are contracting the severe form of the deadly disease.
Anthony, speaking during his daily update on the measures being taken to curb the spread of the virus, told reporters that this is becoming a disturbing trend, as four children are currently hospitalised with the severe form of the disease.
“Over the last two weeks or so, we have seen a disturbing trend right now in our hospitals, we have four children who have been severely affected by COVID.
“And so, we are monitoring them and hopefully, the prognosis would be good because the medical team is really working to ensure that they can provide the best care for these children,” Dr Anthony said, noting that since March 2020, an estimated 1,567 children were diagnosed with COVID-19.
He said 287 children between the ages of one month to four years have contracted the disease including 148 are boys while 523 children including 251 girl, between the ages of five to nine years were diagnosed with virus that has killed more than 400 people in the country.
Anthony noted that children between the ages 10 to 14 years represent the largest grouping of children that have contracted the disease, with a total of 756 children -342 boys and 414 girls, testing positive.
“I think now that it’s time that we pay some attention to this, especially now that we’re seeing not just the mild cases in children but we’re seeing more severe forms of COVID among the children population. So, I just want people to be careful with their children and take all the necessary precautions,” Anthony said.
He is urging parents to ensure children observe the COVID-19 protocols of frequent hand-washing, masking when in public and practicing physical distancing to reduce their chances of contracting the disease.
Anthony said there is a condition induced by COVID-19 in children called Multiple System Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) which causes multiple organ failure. He confirmed that this condition has not yet been recorded in Guyana but it is a complication caused by COVID-19 in children.
As there has been no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children, all adults are being encouraged to take the vaccine to help Guyana to achieve herd immunity, Anthony added.