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US state warns of rise in child COVID hospitalizations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A six year old child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine for 5-11 year old kids at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on November 2, 2021. (AFP photo)

The US state of New York’s health department has warned of a rise in the hospitalization of children getting infected with Covid-19.

The New York State Department of Health made the announcement in a notice to doctors amid a rise in the omicron variant.

“NYSDOH is closely monitoring an upward trend in pediatric hospitalizations associated with COVID-19,” the notice read. The recent increases are concentrated in New York City and the surrounding greater metropolitan area. The sharpest rise is in New York City, with admissions rising 4-fold from the week, based on data from December 5, 2021 to the week starting December 19, 2021.”

The department further called on doctors to recommend enrolling in New York State’s vaccination program.

However, about half of the children hospitalized are under five, and therefore ineligible for the vaccine, according to the latest notice.

Lack of coronavirus tests during holiday season has, meanwhile, been cited as one of the reasons for the surge in Covid-19 in the public.

The White House's chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, has criticized testing options for not being more widely available throughout  the country.

"I mean, if you look at the beginning of the administration, the beginning of the year, there were essentially no rapid point of care home tests available. Now, there are over nine of them and more coming," he told ABC News. “I mean, I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn't help us today and tomorrow.”

Health insurance is supposed to begin to cover at-home tests and half a billion rapid tests are going to become available for free to be delivered at home, according to an announcement by President Joe Biden last week.

Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month and soon spread across many countries including in America and Europe.

More than 52 million Americans have so far been infected with Covid-19 with over 815 thousand deaths reported since the pandemic began.


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