HYDERABAD: Common play areas in apartments and gated communities seem to have become centres for Covid-19 spread among children. Boisterous children rush out of households and then come to the common areas to play with peers, oblivious of the tragedy lurking around.
In many cases, unsuspecting parents are falling prey to the pandemic as most children are asymptomatic but are capable of spreading the virus.
Narrating his story, Rajagopal (name changed), a resident of Sri Sai Narayana Colony at Nagole in Hyderabad said his four-year-old daughter was infected with the deadly virus in the common play area in his apartment. The bank employee said his daughter moved closely with his neighbour. Incidentally, the 27-year-old neighbour tested Covid-19 positive last week. "Since we live in the next flat, my daughter escaped our supervision and came in contact with the person who was positive. As a precautionary measure, using my influence, I got my child tested and her result was positive. Unable to isolate the child, I, along with my 32-year-old wife, took care of her and developed symptoms earlier this week and we too have tested positive," he said. “It is difficult to control the children in the apartment who are keen to meet her without knowing the gravity of the issue,” he said. Adding to the woes, the bank employee said his comorbid parents had been living in a room in the same flat.
In another incident in Mangapuram Colony in Alwal, a birthday party of a two-year-old child resulted in the death of his 37-year-old father. According to the family members, the techie decided to celebrate the birthday of his baby in a grand way by inviting children in the neighbourhood. However, while doing the birthday shopping, the family contracted the virus and eight of his family members including three kids fell prey to the coronavirus. Depressed over the development, the man did not have food for two days. When hospitalised, the family members were shocked to learn that the infection had spread from 20 percent to 76 percent in 48 hours, which forced the doctors to put him on a ventilator and he passed away the next day.
Citing the virus spread in children, Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul said, "We have to protect ourselves with Covid appropriate behaviour and children have to be encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distance. There is a clear-cut science-driven protocol already available. If Covid-19 symptoms are seen in children, then it should be followed.” He also made it clear that whether children could be more vulnerable to Covid-19 in the coming days would also depend on mutations....