Hyderabad: Four infants, all less than one-year-old, have died of corona virus within a span of two months in Telangana while around 200 children have been infected in the state.
According to Dr. G Srinivas Rao, the director of public health Telangana, “Children and senior citizens are the most vulnerable group because of their immunity. Around 200 children have been infected by COVID-19 and are undergoing treatment in the state.”
Infants with co-morbidities have a less chance of survival, say doctors. For instance, in the case of the three-month-old infant who succumbed to COVID-19 on 30 May, the presence of co-morbidities complicated her condition. “The three-month-old infant had congenital heart disease along with bilateral pneumonia. By the time the baby was brought from Niloufer hospital, she had no respiratory movements and was in shock. Later, her test results came back positive. COVID-19 was not the only reason for the infant’s death. In fact, she was in a vulnerable position even without COVID,” said Dr. Raja Rao, the superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, the nodal centres for treating COVID-19 in the state.
The doctor further added that a 24-day-old baby who died on 30 May was born prematurely. “Premature birth means the infant’s lungs are not developed. The pulmonary surfactant is absent in such babies, making breathing difficult for them. So, it is not COVID-19 alone that led to the baby’s death in this case,” the doctor said.
Telangana's youngest COVID-19 victim was an eight-day-old infant from Qutbullahpur in Hyderabad who died on 26 May. While the mother’s initial report (pre-delivery) was COVID-negative, the source of the virus is yet to be traced.
Earlier in April, a 45-day-old infant had succumbed to COVID-19 in Narayanpet. The baby boy was declared COVID-positive on 17 April and subsequently shifted to Gandhi Hospital where he died.
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ children body, UNICEF, has said that an additional 6,000 children could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months as the pandemic will affect timely healthcare services.