NEW DELHI: A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that nearly 12 per cent of the total COVID-19 infections in India have been reported among children and adolescents under 20 years of age. Globally, those under 20 years of age accounted for 11 per cent of the total SARS-CoV-2 infections. The report analysed data from 87 countries and underlined that the pandemic has impacted the health of children more directly than it was originally anticipated.
The report elucidated that other than the disruptions caused in essential services such as education, healthcare, and nutrition, child protection interventions were also put on halt and has harmed children. Data from India traces that closure of 1.5 million schools has impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary education and 28 million children attending pre-school education in Anganwadi centres.
The report titled ‘Averting a lost COVID Generation’ said that the pandemic will affect children’s lives for years to come, even if a vaccine becomes available soon. It asserted that how the world responds now to the myriad risks that pandemic poses to children will determine their future.