Shillong: Over 5,000 children in the age group of 0-14 years have tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya, 17 of which succumbed to the infection, health minister A L Hek said on Friday.

He also stated that none of the newborns delivered by COVID-positive mothers were found to have got infected.

“So far, 5,101 children in the age group of 0-14 years were diagnosed with the disease. Seventeen children died of the infection since last year,” the minister said.

Noting that the third wave of the pandemic, which is likely to strike later this year, may pose a greater threat to the children, as suggested by experts, Hek said the state government is making necessary preparations in anticipation.

Also read: Meghalaya: Health minister defends govt strategy to get people vaccinated

“As part of the preparations, the government has decided to build prefabricated paediatric hospitals in Shillong, at Tura town in West Garo Hills and Jowai in West Jaintia Hills,” he said.

Meghalaya has inoculated 5.44 lakh people so far, with over 75,000 of them having received both the doses. The state has registered 762 deaths due to the disease.

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