Doha, Jan 17 (IANS): A three-week-old baby has died from Covid-19 in Qatar, the second child death due to the infection in the country.
According to the ministry of public health statement, on Sunday, the baby had no other known medical or hereditary conditions, New York Times reported.
The ministry added that this was the second child in the country to have died from the disease during the pandemic.
"This is a stark reminder that people of all ages are at risk of being infected by Covid-19," the authorities said in the statement.
While Covid has generally been mild in children, it has contributed to rare infant deaths around the globe.
The health officials said that during Qatar's current wave of Covid, a greater number of children were being infected and requiring medical care.
"This is not because Omicron is more severe for children than previous variants; it is because Omicron is more contagious and infecting higher numbers of people," the statement said.
Among the 3.5 million global deaths from the coronavirus, just 0.4 per cent of those have occurred in people under the age of 20, according to data from Unicef. Less than half of those deaths were in children 9 years old or younger.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the US, by early January about 259 deaths among children aged 4 years old or younger had been linked to Covid.
Further, CDC data and a recent study published in the British Medical Journal showed that the Omicron variant, which is extremely contagious and has the capacity to dodge vaccines, has also caused a surge in hospitalisation in young children, the report said.
The rise may be partly explained by the surge of Omicron cases, which affects all populations, and the spread of other respiratory infections.
But the data do not show a similar steep rise in coronavirus infections among the hospitalised children of other ages, and federal health officials were considering the possibility that Omicron may not be as mild in young children as it is in the older children,the report said.