Over 300 children in Malaysia have COVID-19


318 cases in children in Malaysia
Image adapted from: Xinhua

If there’s one thing we know for certain about COVID-19, it’s that it affects people from all walks of life – with high-risk groups, such as the elderly, more likely to succumb to the virus. This is why Malaysians have been opting to be cautious by staying indoors during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

On 18th May 2020, our Health Director-General, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, warned of a new age group at high risk of contracting the virus: children under 12 years of age. This comes as 318 of confirmed COVID-19 cases(4.6%) in Malaysia are made up of children from this age group.


COVID-19 cases in children aged 12 and below


A table showing the confirmed COVID-19 case count for children under 12 in Malaysia was first provided by KKM on 16th May 2020.

In it, cases are sorted according to states and age, with every state in Malaysia reporting at least 1 COVID-19 case in children under 12 years of age. Selangor currently has the most cases among children under 12 with 77 cases in total. And the most affected group among the age bracket are 12-year-olds, with 37 cases reported.

Of concern, a total of 22 cases in infants below 1 year of age are also shown affected by the virus.

Graph showing states with affected children
Image credit: KKM

But it’s not all bad news, as Malaysia Kini reported that there has been no fatalities so far in this age group. None of the affected kids need to receive treatment in the ICU either.


Health DG advises parents to keep children safe at home


We should err on the side of caution during this time, especially with kids under 12, which is why our Health DG is urging parents to not let their children tag along while they carry out grocery runs or hospital visits, as reported by Malay Mail on 18th May 2020.

This is because they are now considered at high risk of contracting COVID-19, along with the elderly community.

Child
Image credit: The Edge Markets

And while there is currently no measure or SOPs under CMCO that disallows children from being out in public spaces, our Health DG warns that action might be taken in the future against parents who do not heed the government’s advice.


Children in Malaysia affected by COVID-19


Currently, childcare centres in Malaysia are allowed to resume under CMCO, but there are strict SOPs to follow. A report by The Star cites this as a cause of many being hesitant to reopen and operating only at 50% capacity.

This is why it’s understandable that many Malaysian parents are facing difficulties at this time to find places to look after their kids while they resume work and daily activities as well. But with positive cases for children under 12 hitting almost 5% of the total reported COVID-19 cases here, we can all agree that it’s important to keep our children safe by avoiding crowds and public spaces.

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