SINGAPORE —Some 367 children below the age of 12, or 0.6 per cent of all local cases, have been infected with COVID-19 so far, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Tuesday (14 September).
They include 172 who were infected with the Delta variant of the virus.
Overall, 50 cases were aged up to one, 83 were between two and four years old, 76 were aged five to six, and 158 were between seven and 12 years old.
Dr Puthucheary told the House that none of the children have developed severe illness requiring oxygen supplementation or are in intensive care unit. Nevertheless, the authorities are “mindful” of the rising number of community cases in the community, and that more children might eventually be infected.
The SMS was responding to queries from Members of Parliament Tan Wu Meng (Jurong) and Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang).
He noted that global data has shown a "very low proportion" of infected children experience severe illness as compared to adults. In Israel, the percentage of such infected children was 0.7 per cent in Israel, 0.3 per cent in South Korea, and 0.6 per cent in France.
Dr Puthucheary added that the evidence suggests children with underlying medical conditions such as congenital heart disease and obesity might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Children under the 12 are currently not eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore. Vaccinations for these children may start in early 2022 after regulatory approval is given.
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