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PANDEMIC HINDERS ROUTINE IMMUNISATION; CHILDREN AT RISK OF COVID-19 Featured

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Infants and children below the age of 18 years in Manipur are being affected by the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Providing routine immunisation to the children and making sure that their mental as well as physical well-being is not affected is the need of the hour.

Manipur is not an exception to the devastating second wave of Covid 19 pandemic in the country. Experts have expressed apprehension about possible outbreak of third wave of coronavirus pandemic. Children below the age of 18 years will be the most vulnerable group if the third wave hit the country as COVID Vaccination for children has not been approved yet. Over 10 thousand children below the age of 18 years in Manipur alone have been detected positive for covid-19 so far. Speaking to Impact news, Secretary of Paediatric Association of India Manipur State Dr. Shyamkumar Laishram has stressed on the need to follow COVID-safety guidelines by each person as well as for the government to take necessary preventive measures against another devastating outbreak in the state.

According to experts routine immunisation develops antibodies in children which will protect them from various diseases. Unfortunately, COVID-19 Pandemic has hindered routine immunisation for children in Manipur as parents fear stepping out of homes to visit health care facilities. Government should think twice about Covid care centres and covid vaccination sites being set up near Government run immunisation centres.

State Immunisation officer has appealed to parents and guardians in the state to give routine immunisation to their children, as skipping their routine immunisation for fear of stepping out of homes due to covid-19 will have far more adverse consequences upon the children in the future.

Impact of Coronavirus pandemic is far more than we can imagine. Head of ‘Department of Psychiatry’, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Imphal,- Professor RK Lenin has asserted that impact of Coronavirus pandemic is not only upon those who suffered from Covid-19 but everyone. He warned that the pandemic has the potential of affecting both mental and physical well-being of everyone and especially immature children below the age of 18 years as they stay indoors for almost 24 hours. He stressed on the need for every parents to act responsibly and cater to their children's needs.

It is our responsibility to keep our children, who are the future pillars of the society, healthy and protect them from deadly diseases. Relevant authorities should ensure that children are not deprived of Routine immunisation. Supporting the government's efforts for successful vaccination against COVID-19 and preventing loopholes which led to the first and prevailing second wave of coronavirus pandemic are equally important to ward-off the possible third wave of the pandemic in Manipur. Lets follow COVID-Appropriate Behaviour, Stay Safe and defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

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