November 16, 2021

DOH investigating a case of coronavirus-infected toddler

The Department of Health (DOH) is investigating the case of a two-year-old who reportedly contracted the coronavirus illness 2019 (Covid-19) less than a week after visiting a mall, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stated Saturday.

The DOH had ordered an investigation and is anticipated to come out with further information in the coming days.

Vergeire also stated there are possibly be other reasons why the toddler got the sickness, like getting the virus from adult companions who go out for work or errands.

“[K]ailangan maintindihan din ng ating mga kababayan, unang-una, marami pang puwedeng maging factor at mga cause kung bakit nagkaroon ng sakit ang bata (The public needs to understand that there may be other reasons why the child got sick),” she stated in an online briefing.

“Hindi lang po iyong pagpunta sa mall. Maaaring doon lang sa bahay ay doon na siya nahawa. Maaaring ang mga nakakatanda niyang kasama sa bahay ay lumalabas at nagtatrabaho. So mayroong mga factors na kailangan nating tingnan (It’s not only the mall, it may also be at home where he got infected or through his adult pals who frequently go outdoors for work. So we need to look at other aspects),” she noted.

A social media user earlier revealed on Facebook and Twitter that a two-year-old tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 days after visiting a mall.

While the agency is investigating the situation, Vergeire encouraged all parents and guardians to avoid bringing their children to crowded areas.

“[B]inubuksan natin ang specific sectors pero mayroon din hong obligasyon ang ating mga kababayan na mag-follow sa safety protocol and especially our mothers and guardians na kapag nakita na natin na crowded na iyong lugar, huwag na muna po tayong tumuloy (We opened specific sectors but we have the obligation to make sure that we follow the safety protocols. The guardians should also refrain from bringing their child if they observe that the venue is already packed),” she stated.

“Let us remember the aim of getting children out is for them to be able to absorb sunlight, to have exercise, but not to go to these congested malls,” she added.

Children were allowed to access malls as Metro Manila changed to the less rigorous Alert Level 2 on November 5.

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