At least 30 Israeli children under the age of 18 have been hospitalized with complications of COVID-19, the local media reported Tuesday.
According to Kan public radio, three young children were in serious condition and a 14-year old boy who had recovered from the virus was in a critical state.
Physicians are warning parents to look out for symptoms including high fever, an unexplained rash on hands and feet and a redness of the eyes.
They warn parents to be vigilant because many children who were infected by the virus did not show symptoms when they were ill.
Dr. Shir Malach, a senior physician in the pediatric intensive care unit at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, told Kan that the post COVID-19 syndrome appeared in children with no underlying health conditions.
The Health Ministry on Monday instructed hospitals to prepare for a surge in virus cases in children after at least 80 children required hospital care in recent weeks.
"Over the next two months, we expect to see an upward trend in infections of children of all ages in the State of Israel due to the end of the lockdown, the reopening of the education system and the fact that children constitute a large part of the unvaccinated population," the ministry said in a statement.
"In addition, evidence of higher infection rates with the British variant in children is mounting, accounting for eighty percent of cases in Israel."
On Sunday, children's hospital directors met with Health Ministry representatives to discuss possible scenarios of COVID-19 spread among children. Some scenarios, which officials attending the meeting described as "extreme," predicted thousands of daily cases among children.
The coronavirus cabinet on Monday decided that schools in cities with low infection rates and/or a vaccination rate of 70% for the over-50s will be allowed to admit grades 5, 6, 11 and 12 for classroom learning.
Kindergartens and grades 1-4 returned to school last week under the same regulations. Grades 7-10 are expected to return in early March with the same restrictions.
Schools that do not meet these criteria will apparently continue with current measures that allow for remote learning or no more than 10 people in an open-air study group.
The Assuta Hospital in Ashdod reported on Tuesday that for the first time on record, an unborn fetus who died was found infected with the virus after his mother who was hospitalized for complications of the disease was.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Tuesday that by the end of the day, four million vaccines will have been administered with 2,621,000 Israelis having already received two doses of the vaccine.
First published: 08:38, 02.16.21