Muscat: The belief that the children will not be infected with COVID-19 is untrue, given that a number of children have been infected in various proportions. Children, including infants, in the Sultanate have been infected with COVID-19.
Dr Jumana bint Ahmed Al-Abdawani, Head of Child Health in the Directorate General of Primary Healthcare of the Ministry of Health stressed on following the preventive measures of washing hands with water and soap, disinfecting surfaces, door handles and children toys, as well as adhering to the community isolation not only between the adults but also among children with the neighbours and other children. She also stressed on drinking lots of water essentially and other liquids generally in order to reduce the symptoms in case the children are infected with COVID-19.
Dr Jumana endorsed the study results assuming that the number of young infected with COVID-19 is less than the adults. According to the specialists, the reason for that is the lack of receptors in the alveoli of the child’s lung, 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, in which the virus utilises the protein to enter those cells and consequently replication.
Al-Abdawaniyah 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 familiarize them with all preventive measures.
The Head of Child Health stressed also on the necessity of taking the scheduled baby’s vaccinations and should not be postponed, as these vaccinations protect the child from several diseases. Noting that a number of controls and prevention measures have been placed by the Ministry of Health in the health centres such as isolating the vaccination places away from the others areas, limiting the time of visits, as well as the nurse responsible for providing vaccine will register the child instead of the medical records staff.
Adhering to the preventive measures and social distance, keeping a distance between children, educating them, instilling the importance of hygiene and making it a daily lifestyle are essential to avoid the transmission of COVID-19 among children.