Head of the Data and IT Division of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Dewi Nur Aisyah, said that until July 16, 2021, the distribution of COVID-19 cases among school children reached 12.83 percent of all confirmed positive cases in Indonesia.
“Of all cases in Indonesia, which are 2.4 million, if we look at the age below 18 years, there are 351,336 or around 12.83 percent. One-eighth of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia come from the age of children and adolescents, namely under 18 years old,” said Dewi Nur Aisyah in the webinar “Prevention of Separation and Alternative Care for Children Affected by COVID-19,” Monday (19/7) .
School children aged 7-12 years had the most cases, namely 101,049, followed by 16-18 years with 87,385, followed by 13-15 years with 68,370. Meanwhile, cases of COVID-19 for kindergarten children aged 3-6 years were 50,449 and PAUD 0-2 years old were 44,083.
The provinces of DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Central Java, DI Yogyakarta, Riau, South Sulawesi, Banten and East Kalimantan are ranked in the top 10 provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 at school age.
North Sulawesi Records Highest Child Death Due to COVID-19
Based on data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force as of July 16, 2021, it showed that 777 children aged 0-18 years had died.
Dewi Nur Aisyah revealed that the highest percentage of mortality was in the 0-2 year age group (0.71 percent) followed by the 16-18 year age group (0.18 percent) and the 3-6 year age group (0.15 percent).
“When we talk about the number of cases, it is not necessarily the province with the highest number of child cases and the mortality rate is also the highest. Because it turns out that for the age of 0-2 years the highest mortality rate actually comes from the province of North Sulawesi (5.29 percent) cases of children under two years old experiencing death, Gorontalo (3.85 percent), NTB (3 .35 percent),” said Dewi Nur Aisyah in a webinar organized by Save the Children Indonesia in collaboration with Padjadjaran University, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection and the Ministry of Social Affairs.
According to him, prevention of corona infection with the 3M protocol must be carried out optimally with the support of family members, especially for groups of children, especially children under 12 years of age who have not been able to get the vaccine.
COVID-19 Also Makes Children Depressed
Clinical psychologist Feka Angge Pramita explained that adults need to help prepare children for critical situations by providing honest explanations such as when they have to temporarily separate from parents/caregivers who are in self-isolation, being treated for COVID-19.
“It has to be explained and it definitely takes a process and often depends on their age too, but giving an explanation or communicating things that are in accordance with the facts, if given an explanation it will actually give something that gives them a sense of calm because if they are not explained or even if they were lied to they could capture the situation. The situation of the adults around them,” said Feka.
In the situation of children who are grieving the loss of their parents who died, children need to always be accompanied by adults around them. In addition to ensuring their basic needs are met, also to respond when children express the sadness they feel.
“How do you respond, for example, if they say ‘oh, I want to meet mama, but you’re in Heaven’, maybe we’ll say ‘just pray’, that’s a good thing,” said Feka.
According to him, a figure is needed who acts as a parent, who gives love, listens and responds to the needs of children.
The Director of Child Social Rehabilitation of the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs, Kanya Eka Santi, assessed that there was a need for a transitional shelter for children to undergo independent isolation, after part of their family was exposed to COVID-19. The rapid transmission of COVID-19 has made the choice to transfer childcare to other families who are vulnerable to transmitting the corona virus.
“For example, the parents are exposed, then the children are not exposed, then without thinking about it, they pass the incubation period, the children are transferred to other families and this family is also exposed. So the process to delay this so that it doesn’t go directly to extended families requires a special shelter,” said Kanya Eka Santi
According to him, the Ministry of Social Affairs has compiled a parenting protocol that requires hospitals to ask parents who enter for treatment if they have children left at home. If the child left behind is not cared for, it must be reported immediately to the local Social Service. [yl/em]