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DOH: COVID-19 cases high among kids younger than 2

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said COVID-19 infections are high among children under 2 years old and urged parents and guardians to ensure children’s adherence to health protocols.

In a briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that those aged 0 to 19 years old belong to the pediatric group.

“Ang matataas na bilang po ng mga nagkakaroon [ng COVID-19] ay less than 2 years old and as the age increases, pagdating ng mga 15 years old hanggang 19 years old, doon pa rin nakikita natin na mas mataas kumpara sa ibang mga age groups,” she said.

(High numbers of COVID-19 cases were observed among those less than 2 years old and as the age increases to 15 years old to 19 years old, that is where we see that infections are higher compared to other age groups.)

Vergeire said experts are still studying why cases are high among children younger than 2.

DOH data as of July 11 show that COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries among those belonging the pediatric age group are as follows:

  • 0 to 4 age group: 12,554 cases (89 deaths, 11,971 recoveries) among females, 14,357 cases (129 deaths, 13,660 recoveries) among males
  • 5 to 9 age group: 13,164 cases (13 deaths, 12,598 recoveries) among females, 14,806 cases (20 deaths, 14,208 recoveries) among males
  • 10 to 14 age group: 18,822 cases (30 deaths, 18,015 recoveries) among females, 19,597 cases (33 deaths, 18,760 recoveries) among males
  • 15 to 19 age group: 30,151 cases (60 deaths, 28,873 recoveries) among females, 28,436 cases (61 deaths, 27,290 recoveries) among males

Despite this, the government has allowed children aged 5 and above to go outdoors in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ. 

Vergeire said this was because studies have shown that COVID-19 lockdowns affect the wellbeing of children.

“Nagkakaroon na sila ng issues both physically and mentally, at ‘yung kanilang developmental stages ay naha-hamper at naaapektuhan because of the lockdowns, because they cannot interact properly with other people,” she explained.

(They experience issues both physically and mentally and their developmental stages are being hampered and affected because of the lockdowns, because they cannot interact properly with other people.)

“Kaya nagkaroon tayo ng rekomendasyon base sa mga eksperto na kasama natin, pero hindi po niyan ibig sabihin na binibigyan na natin ng laya ng sobra. Kailangan susunod pa rin po tayo sa mga pamantayan,” she added.

(That was why we made that recommendation, based on our experts, but it does not mean that we are giving too much freedom. We must still follow protocols.)

The Philippines has logged over 1.47 million COVID-19 cases with 1.39 million recoveries and 25,921 deaths as of Sunday afternoon. —KBK, GMA News