Government data has revealed the highest number of children killed in English hospitals since the pandemic began in January. The figure was slightly higher than the previous high in December.
Image: Antonio Caramia)
A shocking 16 children died of Covid in hospitals in England in January, the highest number since the pandemic began, government data has revealed.
Four of those who died were infants and toddlers under the age of 4, and eight were adolescents ages 15 to 19.
NHS figures also showed that this figure surpassed the previous record in December, in which 14 children died with Covid in England, of whom three were in the youngest category.
The numbers also show that 904 children were hospitalized in England in just one week to January 28, another record for the pandemic.
Of the 904 children, more than half, 519, were under the age of five.
By comparison, the same week just a month earlier in December saw less than half the January figure, with 424 children under the age of 17 admitted to hospital with Covid.
At the time, 424 children admitted in one week was the highest number seen during the entire pandemic.
The numbers were released as part of the government’s daily coronavirus data and show a significant rise in admissions in children.
However, it is unclear how many coronavirus cases were detected when children were brought to hospital for reasons other than COVID, or if COVID was the main reason for their admission or death.
AFP via Getty Images)
A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Paedeatrics and Child Health told the Mirror that “children’s wards are experiencing a busy winter, as usual at this time of year.”
“Unsurprisingly, this means pediatricians are seeing many infants and young children with fevers and respiratory conditions.
“We know that Omicron is much more transmissible than previous Covid-19 variants and results in a higher rate throughout the community.
“So hopefully more children and young people will test positive.”
He added: “It is important to note that Omicron is not reported by pediatricians to be a more serious or severe disease in children and young people in the UK.
“We are also reassured to hear that very few children and young people admitted to hospital with Omicron are in need of pediatric intensive care. While this is reassuring, we cannot be complacent and will monitor the situation.”
A spokeswoman for the UK Health Security Agency added: “Omicron is highly transmissible across age groups and Covid cases remain high, including among children.
“However, the number of children in hospital who have tested positive for Covid-19 remains proportionately very low. UKHSA continues to monitor the situation closely.
“It is crucial that we all do our part to slow the spread of infection in our homes and communities.
“We urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated or a booster without delay to get regular LFD tests and observe good hand hygiene.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.