Govt issues revised Covid guidelines on use of drugs, masks for children

NEW DELHI, Jan 20:

Use of antivirals or monoclonal antibodies is not recommended for those less than 18 years of age, irrespective of severity of Covid infection, and if steroids are used, they should be tapered over 10 to 14 days, subject to clinical improvement, the government said on Thursday.
In the ‘Revised Comprehensive Guidelines for Management of COVID-19 in Children and Adolescents (below 18 years)’, the health ministry also said that masks are not recommended for children aged five years and below.
Those aged 6-11 years may wear it depending on the ability of the child to use a mask safely and appropriately under direct supervision of parents, it said.
Those aged 12 and above should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, the ministry said.
The guidelines were reviewed by a group of experts in view of the current surge that is mainly attributed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is also a variant of concern.
The available data from other countries suggests that the disease caused by the Omicron variant is less severe. However, there is a need for a careful watch, as the current wave evolves, the ministry said.
It categorised cases as asymptomatic, mild, moderate and severe.
According to the guidelines, COVID-19 is a viral infection and antimicrobials have no role in the management of uncomplicated COVID-19 infection.
In asymptomatic and mild cases, antimicrobials are not recommended for therapy or prophylaxis, the ministry said.
In case of septic shock, empirical antimicrobials, according to body weight, are frequently added to cover all likely pathogens based on clinical judgement, patient host factors, local epidemiology and antimicrobial policy of the hospital, it said. (PTI)