Bhubaneswar: Government hospitals in Odisha are safe. There are separate facilities for treatment of COVID-19 patients and general patients. Therefore, expecting mothers can visit the Government hospitals adhering to COVID guidelines and avail the treatment, Professor of Obstetrics and gynaecology, SCB Medical College and Hospital, Dr Lucy Das said.
Responding to the queries pertaining to home isolation of expecting mothers and new mothers, Dr Das said there are separate facilities for treating COVID-19 patients at Government hospitals, if any. Therefore, expecting mothers can go here for consultation, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy and also for delivery.
“There are Government hospitals across Odisha which are attending to COVID positive pregnant women. The expecting mothers who are COVID positive need to check with local ASHA workers and fix up appointment with the doctors at such hospitals in their area,” Dr Das said.
She advised that a COVID positive mother should practice extra precaution while dealing with the new born. While it is not possible to keep the infant separate, the mother who is COVID positive should wear a mask and hold the child only while feeding, and not if required. Maintaining distance from the child is very essential for his/her safety (of not contracting the infection).”
The senior O&G professor said that under no circumstances mask be put on an infant. It is very dangerous and the baby might die of suffocation. “We do not have any evidence of COVID-19 transmitting through blood (of the mother). However, as the newborn remains physically close to the mother, if the latter is infected, there are strong chances of the child getting infected. So, following basic COVID guidelines is very critical,” she added.
There are cases where a child is COVID positive, in home isolation and the mother is pregnant. In such cases, the mother needs to ensure that she does not come near the child. Any other member of the family should take the responsibility as a care-taker for the child in home isolation.
“Increase social distancing to reduce the risk of infection and practice hand hygiene. The mother needs to be very cautious in such cases and not get emotional,” Dr Das added.