Heated Topics of the Week- Covid-19, Devastating effect on children amid pandemic

Since December 2019, the newly discovered Covid-19 has spread its footprint to nearly every continent and the cases still continue to rise. As of Sept 12, 214 countries reported about a total of 28.5 million confirmed cases and 915,000 deaths since the first ever infection was discovered.

According to John Hopkins University, the mortality rate — calculated by the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases, currently stands at 3% in the U.S., 11.7% in the U.K., and 12.6% in Italy. India’s surprising low mortality rate statistics, compared with its second-highest infection number worldwide and population density, is warned to be misleading and incomplete by scientists in India. Considering the worsening effect of lockdown restrictions on the already cramped living conditions for the millions of Indian people living in slums, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stated the need for turning attention to revive the economy despite losses and pressure.

Impoverished people rest by their shanties at Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, during lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Mumbai. (Source: outlookindia.com)

While many are celebrating the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, medical experts warn the catastrophic effects to one’s immune system and severe respiratory failure if infected with both coronavirus and seasonal influenza. Health officials stress the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing for proper protection of both, and statistics in Southern Hemisphere countries suggested an astonishing plummet of flu cases compared to last year’s flu-season in the Southern Hemisphere.     

Devastating effect on children amid pandemic

Although almost every country has been tightening its border restrictions in order to prevent the spread of virus, it has been especially hard for those unaccompanied migrant children under Trump Administration. US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz released a number in a recent court declaration indicating the public health law invoked in March has expelled 159,000 people till now, including 8,800 children travelling alone to exit the border. Immigrants and civil rights advocates have criticized the administration for using public health claims as a pretext to implement harsh immigrant restrictions and putting kids in danger.

Moreover, surveys by WHO and UNICEF reveal that Covid-19 has been reversing hard-won progress toward eliminating preventable child deaths. Four months ago, initial modelling by Johns Hopkins University suggested that almost 6,000 additional children could die per day due to disruptions due to the pandemic. Henrietta Fore –UNICEF Executive Director—stated that “When children are denied access to health services because the system is overrun, and when women are afraid to give birth at the hospital for fear of infection, they, too, may become casualties of COVID-19.”

Source: UNICEF/2020/Aaron Ufumeli

Sources:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/11/asia/india-covid-death-rate-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/11/health/covid-flu-together-health-impact/index.html

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-covid-19-are-slums-in-india-conducive-for-the-outbreak/354972

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/11/politics/migrant-children-expelled/index.html

Written by Jinxin

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