7 children in Covid-19 ward at Cape Town's Red Cross Hospital

  • Seven children are currently being treated in a Covid-19 ward at Red Cross War Memorial Hospital in Cape Town.
  • Two of the minors who have died since the pandemic hit, were also patients at Red Cross, but had underlying medical conditions.
  • Studies show that children account for very few Covid-19 cases, and are 'extremely low risk'.

Seven children are in a dedicated Covid-19 ward at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town.

This was reported to News24 on Wednesday by the hospital's head of paediatric emergency care, Dr Heloise Buys.

And the hospital also confirmed that two of the minors who have died of the virus so far since the pandemic hit the country, were also patients at Red Cross.

The Covid-19 unit treats children who are 13-years-old and younger, she explained. They also treat some older teens when required.

"Sadly, we have lost two children, who had very complicated underlying medical conditions. One was a 15-year-old, and one was a one-year-old," the doctor reported.

"The ward has seven positive children, at the moment. But there are also children who are under investigation. They have been swabbed, but we are awaiting their results. So there may be more coming up (for admission).

"We've seen children under the age of a month, who have been positive."

According to the SABC, a total of 37 positive tests have been recorded at the hospital since the start of the pandemic.

Children are known to experience milder symptoms of the virus than adults, and are considered low risk, various studies have shown.

A recent study published by Health24, showed that 77% of children who contracted the virus, still had normal chest CT scans.

When a chest CT scan or X-ray is referred to as "negative", this means that the lungs present as normal and that no damage is found, the report said.

READ | Children and Covid-19: What the latest study says

According to a recent BBC report, children are at "extremely low risk" of becoming ill from the virus.

The report said that children have so far only accounted for between 1% and 5% of all diagnosed cases in the UK, according to a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at the University of Exeter.

They often have "milder disease than adults," the report says, pointing out that deaths have been rare.

The hospital on Wednesday unveiled the first "child-friendly" Covid-19 "Testing and Triage" centre - resplendent in brightly-coloured murals to ease children's anxiety.

Buys said: "All children need their care-givers, or parents. So we will allow one care-giver to accompany the child. Right through this entire journey, the parent is at the child's side."

Parents or care-givers would also be tested, before they walked this journey with their young one.

*This story has been updated.

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