In anticipation of likely intermittent surges in the number of COVID-19 cases, the government has come out with guidelines for operationalising COVID-care services for children.
The recommendations include augmenting existing COVID care facilities to provide care to children with acute coronavirus infection.
According to it, once vaccines are approved for children, those with comorbid conditions having more severe manifestations of COVID-19 and poorer outcomes should be a priority group for immunisation.
About the treatment of children, the guidelines by the Union Health Ministry said most drugs used in adults such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir and antibiotics such as doxycycline or azithromycin have not been tested on children for prevention or treatment of COVID infection among them.
Therefore, these are not recommended in children,” the guidelines read.
The guidelines stated it is anticipated that there may be intermittent surges in the number of coronavirus cases.
The document provides guidance about additional requirements for infrastructure, equipment and manpower.
Noting that a majority of children have asymptomatic or mild illness and can be managed at home by parents, it said treatment for symptomatic patients include paracetamol for fever and monitoring conditions such as measuring respiratory rates, difficulty in respiration, oral intake and oxygen saturation.
“In a community setting, ASHA and MPW should be involved for management of children at home and also monitor to assess the need for referral and admission,” the guidelines said.