Children in the Philippines, including those around age 10, have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Contrary to the claim of senatorial aspirant and lawyer Larry Gadon that children around 10 years old are immune to COVID-19, the Department of Health has reported over 90,759 cases among children ages 10 to 14 years as of Nov. 27.
Gadon made the claim on Nov. 11 at a Quezon City press conference in which he said in-person classes should resume by 2022 since the country is approaching herd immunity. A live video of the press conference posted by Facebook page Kuya Bok Tv showed Gadon saying (Claim starts at the 24:13 mark):
Sa totoo lang, ang tinatamaan naman talaga ng COVID—ang madalas tamaan o ang mahina ang kanilang resistensya sa COVID ay ‘yung mga nag-eedad ng mga 60 pataas. Pero ‘yung mga estudyante, ‘yung mga 10-years-old na kagaya niyo…hindi naman tinatamaan ng COVID (In truth, those infected with COVID-19–those usually infected or have weak resistance against COVID-19–are people aged 60 above. Students aged around 10 years old, however, are immune to COVID-19).
The DOH’s COVID-19 situationer dated Nov. 28, obtained from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), reported a total of 352,771 pediatric cases of COVID-19, of which 26% are in the 10-14 age group.
Data collected by PIDSP through its Surveillance and Analysis of COVID-19 in Children Nationwide (SALVACION) showed children ages 6-10 years constitute 16% of COVID-19 pediatric cases in its registry and those ages 11-15 account for 21% as of Sept. 30.
According to the PIDSP, however, data from its registry is not reflective of the total number of pediatric cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Gadon, a senatorial candidate of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan founded by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has made dubious claims regarding COVID-19 in the past.
In August 2020, he refused to wear a face mask in public, taping one instead on the face shield he wore. He questioned the effectiveness of wearing a mask and said the government was “overreacting” to the coronavirus.
As of Nov. 23, the video has amassed over 2,000 reactions and 16,000 shares. (JS)
Department of Health. (2021, November 28). A COVID-19 Philippine situationer: Full weekly report. Issue No. 580. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KMhWAcSmHsPC9zN1qvzDfziM3NeAv9hX/view?fbclid=IwAR1yr6FpLjTCaHNCSnwzkYtBnntmGU7fOTmIajjkyEx1ALMdNlvwZFkutgU
Esguerra, D.J. (2020, August 16). Gadon won’t wear mask outdoors, says gov’t overreacted to COVID-19 paranoia. The Philippine Daily Inquirer. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1322505/gadon-wont-wear-mask-outdoors-says-govt-overreacted-to-covid-19-paranoia
Kuya Bok Tv. (2021, November 11). Live with ATTY LARRY GADON!. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/kuyaboktvOFFICIAL/videos/305695697838308
Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines. (2021, September 30). SALVACION Case Bulletin #3. http://www.pidsphil.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SALVACION-bulletin_page-1-Sept30.pdf
Mocon-Ciriaco, C. (2020, August 18). DOH denounces Gadon for false face mask claims. BusinessMirror. https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/08/18/doh-denounces-gadon-for-false-face-mask-claims/
Tomacruz, S. (2020, August 17). DOH slams Gadon over face mask claim: ‘this is not a joking matter’. Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/nation/doh-slams-larry-gadon-face-mask-claim/