CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Aug) – Health authorities have raised the alarm that more children are now being admitted to hospitals here due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) compared to last year when the pandemic started.
Dr. Ted Yu, of the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office, said they have seen more children aged 12 and below or pediatric cases being admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19: 32 last week, 35 in July, and 16 in June when the current surge started in the city.
“This is alarming. A year ago the number of children who got sick with COVID-19 was negligible,” Yu said during the daily press briefing here.
Dr. Gina Itchon, head of the research and development unit at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, said the likelihood that the virus afflicts children aged 12 and below was “very unlikely” a year ago “but now we are seeing more children getting sick and in serious condition.”
She said an 11-year-old child died of COVID-19 early this month, an indication that children have become vulnerable to the disease.
One of the patients who was found positive with the Delta variant, said to spread faster and causing more severe illness, was only 10 years old, the CHO said.
Cagayan de Oro has 21 confirmed Delta variant cases with one death reported in Barangay Canitoan.
Itchon said monitoring the COVID-19 cases involving children is now the priority of her department.
“We should come up with a recommendation after evaluating the cases,” she said.
Itchon noted that the Department of Health is conducting vaccine trials for children but have not placed them as priority. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)