Bengaluru, Sept 6: If the third wave of covid-19 strikes the country, seven times more children may be affected compared to the second wave, according to the scientists.
The scientists estimated that a third wave could be averted if the rate of vaccination is doubled along with strict compliance to the behavioural norms such as mobility restriction, masking and physical distancing mandates, and crowd control measures.
Under certain special circumstances, the daily confirmed cases of children (age 0-11 and 12-17 years) at peak could be on an average seven times more than the corresponding daily confirmed cases at the peak of the second wave, they reported in a new study, noting that such findings could help shape public health strategies in the coming months.
For instance, the state can set up registries to track the kids who may develop MISC (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children) due to Covid-19 or make arrangements for adequate paediatric ICU beds.
"The study is not to scare but to prepare. Even if they develop Covid-19 infection, most of the kids would not require a hospital stay. The seven times more estimate is on average, and it could range between three and ten,” Giridhara Babu, an epidemiologist at the Indian Institute of Public Health and one of the co-authors said.
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and IIPH conducted the modelling exercise following an ensemble-forecast approach using 972 models and Karnataka specific data to find that a new wave would be inevitable if compliance to the Covid-appropriate behaviour was partial.