Malaysia has seen an increase in serious Covid-19 cases involving children below the age of five, including some that have resulted in death.
Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were three cases of Covid-19 deaths in this age group in 2020.
For this year, the same number was reached in just the first five months of the year.
Likewise, Noor Hisham said there has been a clear increase in children requiring intensive care.
He said that in 2020, there were eight paediatric Covid-19 cases that require ICU admission, of which six cases involved children below five years old.
Within the first five months of 2021, however, there are already 27 paediatric Covid-19 cases that require ICU admission, of which 19 cases involved children below five years old.
“With this information, the Health Ministry hopes that all parties, especially parents and guardians, can play an important role in protecting those with low immunity such as infants and children so as to protect them from Covid-19.
“Build a safe environment for them by fully complying with existing standard operating procedures, and eligible adults should get vaccinated immediately,” he said in a statement today.
He said this in response to questions regarding critical Covid-19 cases and deaths among children.
Previously, Noor Hisham had shared data showing that 54,939 infants and children aged 12 and below have contracted Covid-19 between Jan 25 and May 30.
Babies and toddlers under the age of four accounted for 19,851 cases.
Children between the ages of five and six accounted for 8,237 cases, while primary school-going children (between seven and 12) made up 26,851.
Meanwhile, with the total lockdown now in force from June 1 until June 14, children aged 12 and below are barred from public areas except in four circumstances.
The exceptions are given for children seeking medical treatment, education, exercise or in the event of emergencies.
Earlier, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba also floated the idea of investigating negligent parents for possibly exposing their children to the disease. – Malaysiakini