COVID-19 Cases Surge Among Indonesian Children

COVID-19 Cases Surge Among Indonesian Children

A senior paediatrician on Wednesday stated that the rate of Indonesian children dying due to coronavirus has tripled since May, including the infant deaths from COVID-19 are increasing sharply as the country is facing the most severe wave of infections till now.

Indonesia has been hit by a rise in cases in June, with new records for six days since June 21 which also includes a daily high of more than 21,807 on Wednesday (30th June), pressurizing the government to impose tighter measures.

According to Dr Aman Pulungan, head of Indonesia's paediatric society, weekly child deaths due to COVID-19 surged to 24 last week from 13 in the previous week, with many under five.

That was a sharp rise as compared to the overall increase in COVID-19 deaths from 1,783 to 2,476 fatalities countrywide over the same period.

Aman stated that infections among children were rising fast.

"It is increasing now. There were around 2,000 – 2,500 cases per week in mid-May whereas last week, there were over 6,000 cases," said Aman.

As per the official data, the percentage of overall cases under 18 years has risen to 12.6% in June as compared to 5% in July in 2020, though Aman observed more children were now being tested.

President Joko Widodo announced this week that authorities have approved for children age 12 to 17 to be immunized with the Sinovac vaccine.

As per Aman, paediatricians were already observing cases of "long COVID” weakening and lasting symptoms among Indonesian children months after infection.

He believed the rising infections among children was more probable due to pandemic fatigue and lack of knowledge than the effect of more transmissible variants.

Read more: Coronavirus UK Variant Affecting Kids More: Data

"It's the system but not the Delta variant, " he stated, mentioning the variant first recognized in India."Less testing, less tracing. Still, people don't think that children can diagnose and die from COVID as there is still less awareness,"