According to the health ministry, 80 percent of the reported cases can be traced back to wide spread community infection that became pronounced in July to date. Children aged 0-12 years old account for 95 of the reported cases while the rest are children aged 13-18
The Ministry of Health has said 300 children aged 0-18 have been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Uganda reported her first case of the virus.
In a communication issued today, the Health Ministry says 80 percent of the reported cases can be traced back to wide spread community infections that became pronounced in July to date.
The Ministry said children aged 0-12 years old account for 95% of the reported cases, while the rest are children aged 13-18. All of them have been asymptomatic with very mild symptoms of the disease, according to health ministry officials.
Dr. Charles Olaro, the director of clinical services says that the numbers of children infected with the disease should be a wake up call to parents to protect their children.
"Many of these children are contacts of confirmed cases. Their parents or guardians have brought the disease to them. Parents need to take necessary precautions to make sure that even in the home setting, there are measures to protect themselves and loved ones," says Dr. Olaro.
Dr. Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and also a senior presidential advisor on epidemics says the rise in cases of infected children is expected to worsen when schools re-open.
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According to epidemiologists, while children are susceptible to getting infected with the disease and spreading it, children react to the disease differently. Majority of children aged 0-12 years are mainly asymptomatic with very few suffering from mild forms of the disease. However, children aged 13-18 at times might present with symptoms and even others might suffer from severe forms of the disease.
Dr. Museneo says that COVID-19 is going to stay with humanity for a long time. In light of this, she advises that guardians and parents should prioritize their safety when it comes to the disease and that of their children.
She says people need to take personal responsibility to protect themselves because security officers or government can no longer do so due to the wide spread of the disease.
"Children might not die from the disease but they will spread it to people. I foresee us getting more cases of persons aged 40 and above who are more perceptible to the disease when schools re-open. In such conditions, it is important for parents to protect their children from the disease but also to protect themselves from their children who might spread the disease," she says.
The number of infected children represent 4.9 percent of the country's reported cases as of yesterday which stood at 6,017. She advises that parents stop hugging children. She also says hand washing and the use of masks might be necessary in homes that have school going children.