Health authorities said on Wednesday that almost 1,940 minors – aged 17 or below – have been hospitalised as a result of Covid infections since the fifth wave broke out.
Forty-nine of these children had received intensive care treatment – of which 60 percent were toddlers aged two or below.
Mike Kwan, a consultant of Princess Margaret Hospital's Paediatric Infectious Disease Unit, said young children tend to develop more serious symptoms because they are not eligible for coronavirus jabs.
“They have an immature immune system, and also these two years, our children actually have no chance of encountering the coronavirus, so they cannot develop immunity to this coronavirus,” he said.
“They are not the population for vaccination, so they have no immunity to this virus at all. That is why when they encounter this very highly-transmissible Omicron virus, the number of infections is very high, resulting in a very high incidence of hospitalisation, severe cases and also admission to the intensive care unit.”
Kwan said most older children infected with Omicron only experience mild symptoms and can recover in seven to 10 days, adding that eligible youngsters who have not been vaccinated should do so as soon as possible.
The expert also advised parents to call an ambulance if their children experience eating or breathing difficulties, a persistent high fever, convulsions or develop other serious symptoms.