‘8345 children had COVID-19’

Ministry of Health officials verifying student details at the vaccination drive at Basden College in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

During this COVID-19 outbreak, the Health Ministry recorded 8345 children with COVID-19 from zero to 19 years, says Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

He told Parliament recently the ministry had recorded seven deaths in children from zero to 19 years if age.

“From the doctors’ perspective and also the Ministry of Health, they continue to find why the mechanisms in which there is a significant transmission between children,” he said.

“We know some of them, some of them are the fact that we actually have bigger families, the fact that we actually have communal living, the fact that we have had an upsurge of the infection in communities with which we have had the density of many of us living together and those are some of the reasons.

“Therefore, again it brings to the fore the importance of why we had the vaccination program that is currently happening for our older children.”

Dr Waqainabete said it was important to note that the whole landscape that they had seen in adults also happened in children.

“We had those who were asymptomatic and a lot of the children were asymptomatic. They were picked up because an adult was positive in the family, they tested everyone and found that a child was positive.

“We have also had asymptomatic children and we had those who were very unwell and needed hospitalisation, they needed critical care support in some instances.”

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