‘Babies born to infected women remain COVID-19-free’

In Mysuru, one of the high-risk districts with spiralling COVID-19 cases and mounting death toll, 52 COVID-19 infected women have safely given birth since June. Significantly, the mothers and their newborns are learnt to be doing well.

Importantly, the newborns currently being taken care of at the V.V. Puram Maternity Hospital, the facility identified for handling the deliveries of COVID-19 infected women, have remained free from the contagion despite their mothers recuperating from it.

Out of 52 deliveries, 41 were done through C-section and the rest were normal deliveries. The C-sections were done in highly sanitized OTs with doctors and nursing staff clad in PPE taking hight precautions to avoid getting infected.

Cheluvamba Hospital of the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) handles deliveries of non-COVID-19 patients while the V.V. Puram hospital performed the deliveries of infected patients.

“The deliveries of COVID-19 infected have gone up with the increase in referrals since no private hospital was handling the deliveries of infected women. Invariably, such cases are referred to us besides women, suspected to be carrying the infection, coming to us for admission much before the swab reports. Two days ago, five COVID-19 women gave birth, including three through C-section,” said Cheluvamba Medical Superintendent Pramila.

The V.V. Puram Hospital is a 30-bed facility and one bed had been reserved for emergency cases.

Dr .Pramila told The Hindu that an isolation ward had been set up at Cheluvamba for suspected cases whose swab reports are awaited. “If they test negative, their procedure is done in Cheluvamba. In case of an infection, they are shifted in ambulances to V.V. Puram Hospital.”

The labour ward at Cheluvamba was sealed twice after two women tested positive following their delivery. In many cases, the swab reports come after the delivery. Therefore, we treat most cases as COVID-19 and take precautions accordingly, going into the details of symptoms, travel history and so on. A decision has been taken to carry out a rapid antigen test before the delivery to prevent risks, she added.

“Because of extreme precautions taken, no newborn was found to have been infected. “We haven’t received reports of any baby catching the contagion after discharge. They are in home isolation after discharge since the hospital was not in a position to keep them for a longer time because of paucity of beds,” she explained.

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