The Union Health Ministry has issued clinical guidelines for the treatment of COVID-positive children amid concerns that a possible third wave of the coronavirus infections may target those aged below 18. The Guidelines which came was’ Comprehensive Guidelines for Management of COVID-19 in Children’, in the guidelines it was mentioned that antiviral drug Remdesivir is not recommended for children, and steroids should be used to treat only moderately severe and critically ill patients.
The document also mentioned that “Remdesivir is ‘NOT’ recommended in children…There is lack of sufficient safety and efficacy data with respect to Remdesivir in children below 18 years of age.”
Also the Directorate General of Health Services under the health ministry said that steroids are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of infection. It also said that, “Steroids should be used at the right time, in the right dose and for the right duration. Self-medication of steroids must be avoided.”
Experts say that due to excessive use of steroids is the main reason behind the Mucormycosis outbreak in the country. Also it has been noticed that, children aged 5 and below may not wear masks, whereas those aged between 6-11 years, may wear masks under supervision. The guidelines also recommended a six-minute walk test for children above 12 years under the supervision of parents. This six-minute-walk-test is not recommended for under controlled asthma patients.
“It is a simple clinical test to assess cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance and is used to unmask hypoxia. Attach a pulse oximeter to his/her finger and ask the child to walk in the confines of their room for six minutes continuously,” it said.