PUTRAJAYA, June 9 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today that it classifies children below 12 years as “high-risk” for Covid-19 transmission mainly to protect them.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said young children comprised 6.5 per cent of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia and no deaths have been recorded among them.
“Definitely there is no mortality under 12, but certainly it’s our role to protect the children, and even the high-risk group,” he told a press conference.
A few studies conducted in Guangzhou, China, and Japan found that less than 10 per cent of children sampled were infected with Covid-19, showing much lower attack rates compared to adults. Those at risk of developing severe disease from Covid-19 are the elderly aged above 60 and adults with underlying medical conditions.
However, Dr Noor Hisham also cautioned that the immunity level might vary among children and it is better to protect the children who are also considered a vulnerable group.
“We do have some of the reports, for example some children get some Kawasaki syndrome, vasculitis, etc. So far, we have not seen in our set-up but more importantly it is for us to protect our children,” he stated.
The Independent reported that children who previously tested negative for Covid-19 were at risk of developing a new inflammatory syndrome, similar to Kawasaki disease.
In fact, children in the United States of America, Britain and other European countries have reportedly been affected with fever, rash, red eyes and lips, and redness on the palms and soles of the feet, with this new condition called paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome – temporally associated with Sars-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS).
Although children are more likely not to show symptoms when infected with Covid-19, concerns have been raised if they can be a potential carrier of the virus and spread it to others.