Muscat: Unlike the first variant of Covid-19 which affected mostly adults, the new one is affecting children as well. They are more prone to the new variant and the same precautions, which were being followed strictly, need to be continued for everyone, according to experts. There are four strains as of now. They are K or British variant (B117), South Africa variant (501Y.V2 or B.1.351), Brazil variant (P.1) and California variant (CAL.20C). “The new variant of the virus which is fast spreading in the region is more transmissible among the communities. Unlike the first wave of Covid-19, kids are more vulnerable to this variant’’, said Dr Mizun Tufail al Rahman, Senior Consultant and Family Physician at the Ministry of Health.
Doctors further opined that in the first wave of Covid-19, adults were more likely to get infected than children. But on the contrary, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of children diagnosed with Covid-19 in many countries over the past two to three months. “This variant of Covid-19 is 70 per cent more rapidly transmitting and is 30 per cent deadlier than the older variant. It has more propensity to infect children under the age of 15 years as compared to the older variant which infected mainly adults’’, says Dr Dilip Singhvi, Specialist Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospital.
The most commonly seen symptoms of the new variant are cough, fatigue, muscle pain, and sore throat while the loss of taste and smell is less common as compared with the previous variant.
Accordingly, all the precautions, wearing the face mask, maintaining social distancing especially while playing outdoors or in schools, keep sanitising hands and avoiding contact with strangers need to be strictly exhorted. “Parents and teachers in schools have this added responsibility now to ensure that kids maintain the social distancing norms and our children remain safe and healthy’’, adds Dr Singhvi.