Indian gov't issues guidelines for COVID-19 management in children

2021-06-10 11:35:21 GMT2021-06-10 19:35:21(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NEW DELHI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- India's federal government has issued comprehensive guidelines for the management of COVID-19 among children below 18 years, which prohibits the use of antiviral drug Remdesivir and recommends rational use of high-resolution CT imaging (CT scan), officials said Thursday.

The guidelines were issued by the federal health ministry's Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The new guidelines said steroids are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of the COVID-19 infection.

"There is lack of sufficient safety and efficacy data with respect to Remdesivir in children below 18 years of age. HRCT chest to be done only if there is worsening of symptoms," read the new guidelines. "Exercise caution and see the use of corticosteroids and anti-coagulants guide."

The guidelines recommended infants and younger children should stay under the immediate care of parents or guardians.

No specific medication is required for the infection but children should continue medications for other conditions if any.

"There is lack of sufficient safety and efficacy data with respect to Remdesivir in children below 18 years of age," the guidelines said. "Steroids should be used at the right time, in the right dose and for the right duration. Self-medication of steroids must be avoided."

The guidelines suggested the infected people should strictly follow the requests of the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, including for mask wearing, strict hand hygiene, and physical distancing.

The guidelines also recommended oral fluids to maintain hydration and a nutritious diet, and advised older children and their families to stay connected and engage in positive talks through phone, video calls, etc.

"In case of deterioration of symptoms, family should immediately consult a doctor. No investigations (tests) are needed," the guidelines said.

On Tuesday Director of India's premier health institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Randeep Guleria said he does not think that COVID-19 will have a serious impact on children.

The AIIMS chief said there was no evidence or data to support the claim of COVID-19 affecting children.

"No data, global or Indian, has had any observations of children being affected more. Even in the data from the second wave kids who were infected had mild illness or co-morbidities," Guleria said during a press briefing of the federal health ministry.

"In many parts of the world where new waves are happening there's no data to show children are being severely affected," he said.

Guleria said the majority of the children who were infected recovered with no hospitalization unless they had co-morbidities. Enditem