Three-week-old baby dies from ‘severe Covid infection’ in Qatar

Children have been at lower risk of severe infection in previous waves but greater number are being infected now, health ministry says

Arpan Rai
Monday 17 January 2022 13:00
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<p>The infant’s death due to the virus is a ‘stark reminder’ that people of all ages are at risk in the Covid pandemic, officials in Qatar said </p>

The infant’s death due to the virus is a ‘stark reminder’ that people of all ages are at risk in the Covid pandemic, officials in Qatar said

A three-week-old newborn in Qatar succumbed to severe infection from Covid-19 and died, officials from the health ministry said on Sunday.

“The baby had no other known medical or hereditary conditions,” the ministry said in a statement.

This is the second child to have died from Covid in Qatar since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Officials said that the infant’s death was a “stark reminder” that people of all ages are at risk in the Covid pandemic. “Despite being rare, most countries around the world have sadly recorded deaths among young children,” it said.

Children have been at a lower risk of severe infection in previous waves but a greater number were being infected in the ongoing wave, the ministry said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Qatar has reported more than 303,000 cases and 627 deaths. In recent weeks, it has seen a rise in cases as well as hospitalisations, including that of young children.

Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that children of all ages can become infected and can spread the virus to others.

A recent study by British researchers said young children and babies were proportionally more likely to be hospitalised with Omicron compared to older children than with previous variants.

There has been an increase in the proportion of young children admitted to hospital in the last four weeks, mostly driven by babies under the age of one, the study showed. Of the total children hospitalised after catching the infection, 42 per cent were under the age of one, starkly higher than the 30 per cent in previous waves. Researchers noted that the illnesses in infants were mild.

The study comes at a time when the highly transmissible coronavirus variant Omicron is driving fresh record waves across the globe.

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