A child wearing a protective face mask plays on a sitting platform painted with social distancing circles on the elevated High Line Park in Manhattan on the first day of the park's re-opening following the outbreak of the COVID-19 in New York City, New York, US, on 16 July 2020
A child wearing a protective face mask plays on a sitting platform painted with social distancing circles on the elevated High Line Park in Manhattan on the first day of the park's re-opening following the outbreak of the COVID-19 in New York City, New York, US, on 16 July 2020Reuters

Nearly 1.2 million children in the US have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest data of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association.

A total of 1,44,145 new child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from November 12 to 19, a 28 per cent increase in child COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the AAP.

The number of new child COVID-19 cases is by far the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Children now account for more than 11 per cent of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the US.

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The overall rate was 1,573 cases per 1,00,000 children in the population, according to the AAP report.

Children accounted for 1.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent of total reported hospitalisations, and 0 to 0.23 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths, said the report.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects,” the AAP said in the report.