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317 children infected with Covid-19, almost half aged six and younger
Published:  May 16, 2020 9:19 AM
Updated: 9:45 AM

There have been 317 children aged 12 and below who have been infected with Covid-19.

Data released by the Health Ministry shows that 46 percent, of 147 children infected were six-years-old or younger.

Selangor has the highest recorded cases among children, with 77 infections, followed by Negri Sembilan (48), and Johor (46).

The ministry's director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (photo) said no deaths among children have been reported so far, nor have there been any severe cases.

However, he said infants and children are at a higher risk of getting infected with Covid-19, as are the elderly.

These infections are likely to be transmitted by adults and other family members, he said.

"We are exposed to the virus through the community. Every time we come home, we bring home the virus, and we can infect the elderly and children.

"This is why during the festive season, the Health Ministry is worried that we can bring the virus back to our kampungs, and infect the elderly and children," he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Noor Hisham said besides affecting the lungs, children infected with Covid-19 are at risk of developing "Kawasaki disease", which causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

He said adults returning from outside to their homes must take precautions, such as taking a bath first or sanitising their hands before interacting with children.

He said parents and caretakers must also educate children about the importance of washing their hands, keeping clean, and always wearing their face masks in public, especially in crowded areas.

Previously, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had warned parents against bringing their children to shopping malls.

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