The Union Health Ministry has issued clinical guidelines for the treatment of Covid-positive children amid concerns that a possible third wave of the coronavirus infection may target those aged below 18. In a detailed document titled ‘Comprehensive Guidelines for Management of COVID-19 in Children’, the ministry said the antiviral drug Remdesivir is not recommended for use on children, and steroids should be used to treat only moderately severe and critically ill patients under hospital settings.
- Corticosteroids are not required in all children with moderate illness; they may be administered in rapidly progressive disease.
- The 6-minute walk test should be used on children above 12 under supervision of parents to assess cardio-pulmonary exercise tolerance. The test can be repeated every 6 to 8 hours of monitoring in home settings; avoid the test in patients with uncontrolled asthma.
- Remdesivir (an emergency use authorization drug) is not recommended in children.
- Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. Those aged 6-11 years may wear a mask depending on the ability of the child to use a mask safely and appropriately under direct supervision of parents/guardians. Children aged 12 years and over should wear a mask.