Health ministry required to issue guidance on COVID-19 treatment protocols for children

by VNA14 February 2022 Last updated at 11:23 AM

Students from Pham Tu primary school in Hanoi's Thanh Tri district in class after returning to school. (Photo: VNA)
Students from Pham Tu primary school in Hanoi's Thanh Tri district in class after returning to school. (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Health (MoH) to urgently complete and issue guidelines on COVID-19 treatment protocols for people under 18 years old, especially children under 12.

He asked the ministry to immediately organise training for hospitals across the country in order to minimise the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the paediatric wards or cause an overload of patients. The ministry was also required to guide localities to have plans for volunteers to support medical facilities if needed.

The MoH, the Ministry of Information and Communications, agencies and localities must also strengthen communication to get the cooperation of families, parents and teachers in ensuring safety for children. The overall risk of children becoming severely ill or dying from COVID is extremely low, doctors say.

According to a MoH's report, the death rate for Vietnamese under 17 who are infected is about 0.34 percent (about 130 children) of the total number of COVID-related deaths in Vietnam.

The rate of severe illness after suffering from post-COVID-19 in this group is also very low, the report said. However, Prof. Dr. Phan Trong Lan, director of the Department of Preventive Medicine said children with COVID-19 are also at risk of developing long-term symptoms. Even children who’d had mild initial symptoms, or were asymptomatic, were not spared from these long-lasting effects.

For some, they experienced headache, fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhoea, and joint pain. Some were suffering physical decline, prolonged coughing, and anxiety - a pattern seen in adults with long COVID. Others had been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). In some cases, children became worse and required mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and long-term treatment after being negative for COVID for two or three weeks later, said Nguyen Trong Nghia, Deputy Director of Dong Nai Children's Hospital.

To promptly detect post-COVID symptoms in children, families need to closely monitor, even 2-3 months later, and go to see the doctor if they have any serious physical or mental concerns about their kids./.

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