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Mumbai hospital delivers 100 babies from Covid-19 mums

Published : Friday, 22 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 307

NEW DELHI, May 21: More than 100 healthy babies have been born to mothers infected with the novel coronavirus in one hospital in India's western city of Mumbai.
Three of the 115 babies born to infected mothers at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in the past month initially tested positive for Covid-19, but subsequent tests cleared them, doctors said.
Two other infected pregnant women died at the hospital, including one who died before her baby was born.
With nearly 24,000 reported infections and more than 840 deaths so far, India's financial and entertainment capital has become the epicentre of Covid-19.
More than half of the babies born to infected women at the hospital - also called Sion Hospital - were delivered through C-section, while the rest were natural births, officials said. Fifty-six of them were boys, while 59 were girls. Twenty-two of these infected mothers were referred to from other hospitals: it is not clear whether the majority of these women contracted the infection at home, outdoors or in a hospital ward.
A team of 65 doctors and two dozen nurses have been treating these Covid-infected mothers in a 40-bed special ward. With the surge of infections, the hospital is planning to add another 34 beds for infected pregnant patients.
The deliveries are happening on half a dozen tables in three operation theatres where doctors, and nurses and anaesthetists are using protective gear.
"We are fortunate that most of the women who have tested positive are showing no symptoms at all. Some of them had fever and reported breathlessness. We have treated them and sent them home after delivery," Dr Arun Nayak, head of gynaecology at the hospital, said.
Image caption Doctors at the hospital have delivered more than 100 babies from infected mothers
"There is a lot of anxiety among the mothers. They keep telling us they might die but we have to make sure that the child is healthy."
After giving birth, the mothers remain in the special ward for Covid-19 patients for a week and are administered hydroxychloroquine. After that they are quarantined up to 10 days in a separate centre. The babies are not isolated and are breastfed by mothers wearing facemasks.
In February, a Chinese newborn was diagnosed with the new coronavirus just 30 hours after birth in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.     -BBC

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