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General News of Wednesday, 8 April 2020


There is no evidence coronavirus is transmitted from mother to baby – Specialist

A Paediatrician, Dr Jocelyn Dame, has said there is currently no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby.

She said even though there have been two instances were newborn babies tested positive for the virus after 30 hours of birth, there is currently no conclusion as to whether that coronavirus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby.

These comments are in response to question by the host of Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom Otchere that seeks to clarify if a mother can transmit coronavirus to her child.

Joycelyn Dame who is also an Infectious Disease Specialist said “so far, there is no evidence that shows that its (COVID 19) is transmitted to the baby. That said there are two newborns who have been born and after 36 hours of birth the babies were diagnosed with SARS cough 2. The mother had it. So if you really want to know if it’s from the mother to the baby you need to do tests on the placenta, amniotic fluid and it was all negative.”

“But it was the fact that the baby was diagnosed so early so there is a suspicion that it could be but all those other samples were also negative. However, is that, the baby picked it up so early or also depending on the viral load that is in on those sample you may not pick up anything. So it’s currently not conclusive whether it’s still transmitted to the baby,” she added

These cases, she said, were recorded in China and the US.

Speaking on the same matter in regards to Ghana, the specialist said that the 33-year-old pregnant woman who tested positive for coronavirus in the Upper East Region, Bolgatanga on April 4, is currently stable adding that the child will be isolated from her mother when delivered and be tested.

“There is one case of a pregnant woman in Bolgatanga and she is doing well. She’s stable. We would have to test the baby as soon as it’s born.”

She urged pregnant women to continue with their routine care and to always speak to their doctors especially in times like this while they practice social distancing.

“…Pregnant women tend to have more infections, especially in their first trimester. In this time, we advise pregnant women to continue with their routine care… Remember that pregnancy can be complicated so they still need it, but they still need to practice physical distancing. When stepping out you still need the mask and also call the doctor when they have simple flu.” She added

Ghana has recorded 287 total count of coronavirus as at April 8, 2020 with 5 deaths.

The regional distribution of the cases are as follows: Greater Accra 258, Ashanti Region 18, Northern Region 10, Upper East Region 1, Upper West Region 1 and Eastern Region 1.

A total of 172 cases were reported from the routine and enhanced surveillance activities and those from travellers under mandatory quarantine in both Accra and Tamale are 115.