Over 60% kids have natural antibodies, start schools immediately, say doctors, Health News, ET HealthWorld

NAGPUR: Claiming that over 60% of children from the school-going age groups already have natural antibodies against Covid-19, leading paediatricians in India have appealed to state governments to start schools, right from primary classes, without more delay.

“Not going to school for such a long period has already done major damage to the social, psychological and mental growth of this generation, which will take years to recover,” said Dr Dinesh Tomar, national general secretary of the National Neonatology Forum (NNF) India. He informed that Haryana state has taken a strategic policy to discontinue online school. “Online school is not even an option in Haryana. The state government has started schools for all classes and all kids are doing well,” he said.

NNF president and acclaimed paediatrician Dr Ranjan Kumar Pejaver said Karnataka too has allowed reopening of primary schools from Monday. “There is no risk in opening schools as far as teachers and staffs are fully vaccinated. Children have learned to follow distancing and are accustomed to wearing masks. Parents and caretakers should also get vaccinated and all will be well,” he said.

From October 23, Nagpur is hosting a conference of paediatricians ‘Neocon-2021’, the first major medical event in physical format after Covid-19. “As paediatricians, we have made it a point to have this conference in physical format instead of going virtual, just to instil confidence in people that the time to move towards normalcy is here,” said Dr Vijay Dhote, president of Nagpur Academy of Paediatricians (AOP).

Veteran paediatrician Dr Satish Deopujari, who delivered Dr DG Gan oration, reasserted that there is no risk in sending kids to schools. “We have come all this way in the pandemic and now we understand this virus very well. Children are mostly safe. Majority of them have already been infected and recovered without even showing symptoms. Parents should send their wards to schools without any hesitation,” said Dr Deopujari.

The paediatricians are discussing mainly neonatal intensive care in this conference. “Our aim is to bring down neonatal death rate in India from 20 per 1,000 to less than 10 per 1,000 live births by 2030,” said Dr Uday Bodhankar, patron of Nagpur AOP. For this, doctors have suggested simple educative measures like at least four hospital visits for a expecting mother during 9 months of pregnancy, encouraging institutional deliveries, and creating awareness about factors like kangaroo mother care in common people.

School Chale Hum

  • Paediatricians confident children are mostly safe from Covid-19
  • Schools and physical interaction must for social, mental and psychological growth
  • There is no harm in starting schools right away for even primary classes
  • Parents should allow wards to join schools without any hesitation
  • No need to wait for children’s Covid-19 vaccine as it will be launched in phase wise manner

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