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Six-year-old Girl Dies from COVID-19 Complications Days after Resuming School

A six-year-old has died from complications arising from COVID-19, seven days after resuming school.

Diplomat and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mohamed Safa, revealed this in a tweet on his Twitter account @mhdksafa on Saturday.

Though he didn’t reveal the identity of the deceased or where the death occurred, he said the little girl contracted the virus when she resumed school and later died from the disease.

He tweeted “Heartbreaking. 6-year daughter started school last week. Got COVID-19 in school and just passed away. Killed her in seven days.

“To those who are so afraid that kids are going to miss a year of school. Missing a year of school is better than losing a future.

“How about using this time to teach them how to plant, cook, basic first aid, creative and critical thinking… Not all learning is done in the classroom.”

For quite a while, there has been global apprehension over school reopening, especially as it remains unclear how COVID-19 impacts on children.

With social-economic activities slowly gathering momentum in several countries, the longer-term effects of keeping schools open on community transmission are yet to be evaluated.

However, reports indicate that some modelling studies suggest that school re-opening might have a small effect on wider transmission in the community.

This is even as more studies are underway on the role of children in transmission in and outside of educational settings.

According to the World Health Organisation, current evidence suggests that the risk of severe disease for children is lower overall than for adults.

The global health body, however, said special precautions need to be taken to minimise the risk of infection among children, and that the benefits of returning to school should also be considered.

“Current evidence suggests that people with underlying conditions such as chronic respiratory illness, including asthma (moderate-to-severe), obesity, diabetes or cancer, are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death than people without other health conditions.

“This also appears to be the case for children, but more information is still needed,” WHO submitted.

WHO said incubation period for children is the same as in adults, adding that the time between exposure to COVID-19 and when symptoms start is commonly around five to six days, and ranges from one to 14 days.

“So far, data suggest that children under the age of 18 years represent about 8.5 per cent of reported cases, with relatively few deaths compared to other age groups and usually mild disease. However, cases of critical illness have been reported.

“As with adults, pre-existing medical conditions have been suggested as a risk factor for severe disease and intensive care admission in children.

“Further studies are underway to assess the risk of infection in children and to better understand transmission in this age group.

“The role of children in the transmission is not yet fully understood. To date, few outbreaks involving children or schools have been reported. However, the small number of outbreaks reported among teaching or associated staff to date suggests that the spread of COVID-19 within educational settings may be limited.

“As children generally have a milder illness and fewer symptoms, cases may sometimes go unnoticed. Importantly, early data from studies suggest that infection rates among teenagers may be higher than in younger children.”

“WHO is collaborating with scientists around the world to develop protocols that countries can use to study COVID-19 transmission in educational institutions,” the agency added.

In Nigeria, with the Federal Government, backed by other regulatory health agencies officially giving the go-ahead for the safe reopening of schools, states on their own, have announced safety guidelines to be followed by all schools.

With schools in Lagos State set to reopen on Monday, September, 21, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appealed for total adherence to stipulated safety protocols.

Before now, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund urged governments in Africa to promote the safe reopening of schools while taking measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The two world health agencies noted that going to school should depend on children’s health condition, the current transmission of COVID-19 within their community, and the protective measures the school and community have in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.



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