Children below 11 years old are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 in malls

Published November 16, 2021, 2:13 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Metro Manila in Alert level 2 doesn’t mean we can relax, and the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) agrees.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, PMA president Dr. Benito Atienza reminds parents and guardians that it’s best not to bring children below 11 years old to the mall. “Kahit anong [alert] level ang ipatupad, ang hiling natin sa mga magulang ay huwag muna dalhin sa mga mall ang ating mga anak lalo na sa 11 years old pababa.”

Kids vector created by pikisuperstar via www.freepik.com

While children are already allowed to go out, Atienza stressed that there is no available vaccines for this age group yet, and the best place to bring them to are parks where social distancing is possible.

Duterte understands how excited parents are to bring their children out, but everyone shouldn’t be complacent. “As we continue to reopen more establishments and allow more mobility to help our economic recovery, we still need to be cautious. I saw a recent report where a two-year-old child was tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting a mall,” he says.

Atienza also confirms, “Children ages one to four have shown an increase in COVID-19 cases, with reported deaths.There is a high incidence for that age bracket. The Philippine Pediatric Society had released a statement on this.”

While the Department of Health (DOH) reported that this was an isolated case, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be cautious. The President has even asked the local government units to implement ordinances on prohibiting children under 12 years old from entering the malls and other public areas as per recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases.

Atienza reiterates, “If they (minors) need to get out at all, the better option are parks and open spaces where social distancing is observed, instead of indoor locations.”

 
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