Covid-19 cases among children on the rise

KUALA LUMPUR: Covid-19 cases involving children aged below 11 years continued to rise over the past two weeks.

According to the Health Ministry's data shared on CovidNow, the number of infants and children (0 to 11 years) infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus saw a steady rise from 2,492 cases on Feb 13 to 3,863 on Feb 25.

Covid-19 cases among adolescents aged 12 to 17 spiked from 1,496 on Feb 13 to 1,849 on Feb 25.

Adults (18 to 59 years) continued to make up the bulk of fresh infections with figures rising from 12,634 on Feb 13 to 20,771 on Feb 25.

Cases involving senior citizens (aged 60 and above) rose from 1,334 on Feb 13 to 2,261 on Feb 25.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had earlier said the death rate of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients was significantly higher than those who completed their vaccination and received booster shots.

As of Feb 26, 21.2 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 in Malaysia have received their first dose of vaccine under the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids).

Sarawak has the highest child (below 11 years) vaccination rate (at least one dose) at 39.6 per cent.

This was followed by Melaka (34.1 per cent), Penang (29.3 per cent), Perak (26.2 per cent), Klang Valley (24.4 per cent), Johor (23.6 per cent), Negri Sembilan (22.7 per cent), Labuan (21.6 per cent), Pahang (18.5 per cent), Perlis (16.1 per cent), Kedah (14.9 per cent), Sabah (10 per cent), Terengganu (8.1 per cent) and Kelantan (6.8 per cent).

Khairy, meanwhile, on Twitter shared that 805,676 kids aged below 11 years or 23 per cent have received their first Covid-19 jab under PICKids.

He said parents' confidence in Covid-19 vaccinations for children was starting to grow following extensive engagement sessions by the country's paediatricians and specialists.

"Confidence is growing with explanations and engagements made by paediatricians and family health specialists.

"To parents, do not wait any longer. Register your children (for Covid-19 vaccine) and protect them," he tweeted.

Based on statistics shared on the CovidNow portal, 14,453,640 of the total population have received their booster jabs and 25,747,814 have completed their vaccination (two doses).

Meanwhile, Malaysia logged 27,043 Covid-19 cases on Feb 26, raising the cumulative number of cases to 3,373,116, including 298,976 active cases.

Of the fresh infections registered on Saturday, 256 were imported cases.

Data showed that 96 per cent of Covid-19 patients (286,969) were undergoing home quarantine, 1.3 per cent (3,758) at Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC), 2.6 per cent (7,911) hospitalised, 145 patients in ICU (unventilated) and 203 patients in ICU (ventilated).

Latest data also showed that 22,710 patients have recovered from Covid-19, raising the total number of recovered patients to date to 3,063,560.

Malaysia's hospitalisation rate continued to increase from 944 admissions (seven-day average) on Feb 1 to 2,262 (seven-day average) on Feb 25.

Active ICU cases also saw a spike from 121 on Feb 1 (seven-day average) to 287 on Feb 25 (seven-day average).

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