A total of 41 COVID-19 deaths involving children and teenagers up to age 17 were recorded as of August this year.
The figure is much higher than the deaths recorded by the same group over the past year which involved only six cases.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement that patients aged 13 to 17 marked the highest number of deaths with 16 cases. On the other hand, the age group of 0 to 4 years recorded 15 cases. Last year, these age groups recorded only two and three cases respectively.
“The number of deaths among children between ages 7 to 12 was nine, compared to just one last year.
“In the meantime, only one death from the age group of 5 to 6 years was recorded, compared to zero deaths last year,” the statement mentioned.
In June this year, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increase in critical cases and deaths due to COVID-19 among children under the age of five in the country is quite alarming.
He said a total of three COVID-19 deaths involving children under the age of five were reported in 2020.
However, he said the same number had recently been recorded in a shorter period of time, with three deaths in the first five months of this year.
“In addition, the number of cases with children needing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) also shows a significant increase,” he said.
MOH hopes that all parties, especially parents and guardians, will play a role in protecting those with low immunity such as infants and children from COVID-19 virus.