SINGAPORE – No child in Singapore has fallen severely ill with Covid-19 so far, but the Ministry of Health (MOH) has referred to the situation in Denmark as cases here continue to climb.
Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary had said in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 14) that the 367 cases of Covid-19 among children below the age of 12 account for 0.6 per cent of all local infections.
None of them developed severe illness requiring oxygen supplementation or intensive care.
MOH said on Friday that Singapore can look at Denmark which is similarly battling a high number of Covid-19 cases in the midst of its vaccination programme.
The Scandinavian country has a similar population size to Singapore, at around 5.8 million and has high testing rates for Covid-19.
Singapore recorded an average of 687 Covid-19 cases in the last seven days, while for Denmark the figure is 432.
Denmark has recorded around 28,000 infections among those aged nine and below. Of these, two have died from the virus, 16 were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 302 were taken to hospital.
Those aged 10 to 19 in Denmark saw a similar number of hospital and ICU admissions amid a higher number of infections. There were more than 60,000 cases in this age group, of which 21 were in ICU and 298 in hospital.
Denmark’s health authorities said in June that the country would offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to children aged 12 to 15 ahead of winter, to boost the overall immunity of its population against the virus.
As at Wednesday, over 83 per cent of Denmark’s population over the age of 12 has been fully vaccinated from Covid-19, while in Singapore it is 82 per cent.
MOH said in its statement on Friday that the vaccination of children below 12 years old should start some time early next year, after the safety and efficacy aspects of the vaccines have been studied.
In the mean time, the health ministry reiterated that family members should get vaccinated to reduce the risks of transmitting Covid-19 to their children.