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Coronavirus outbreak: Rapid antibody test to be done on mother of Gujarat’s youngest case

The child who tested positive on Sunday continues to be on ventilatory support with no improvement or deterioration in condition in the COVID intensive critical care unit (ICCU), Jamnagar District Collector Ravi Shankar said on Monday.

Written by Sohini Ghosh | Ahmedabad |
April 7, 2020 12:57:03 am
Coronavirus outbreak, Rapid antibody test, Ahmedabad news, Gujarat news, indian express news Fourteen people from the labourers’ colony where the family was staying, including the child’s parents, tested negative, prompting the authorities to probe further. (Representational Image)

The mother of the 14-month-old child, who became Jamnagar’s first COVID-19 case, will be put through a rapid antibody test on Tuesday to find the source of the baby’s infection.

The child who tested positive on Sunday continues to be on ventilatory support with no improvement or deterioration in condition in the COVID intensive critical care unit (ICCU), Jamnagar District Collector Ravi Shankar said on Monday. Fourteen people from the labourers’ colony where the family was staying, including the child’s parents, tested negative, prompting the authorities to probe further.

Shankar told The Indian Express that the baby’s parents and uncle, who were all living in the same house in the chawl, also tested negative. The chawl with 90 households in Dared village as well as Masethia village in Jamnagar, where the child’s father often went to offer namaz, were declared a cluster and containment strategy has been deployed. The parents are migrants from Uttar Pradesh employed as casual labourers with the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).

“We launched a door-to-door survey with 40 teams from zilla panchayat and 70 teams from the municipal corporation, checking 12,000 persons. The chawl where the family lives has common toilets. What is confusing the most is the fact that the mother has tested negative. One scenario could be that the mother had the infection and was cured by the time the baby contracted it. We will carry out a rapid antibody test on her that will tell us if she had coronavirus infection in the past,” Shankar told The Indian Express.

“We also got to know that the baby was immunocompromised for the past three months, with him falling ill often. In the past few days before being admitted to GG General Hospital, the family had visited three private doctors. We also tested the doctors and the results are negative. We are now tracing the children and the families who visited these doctors in the past 14 days. Another 800-900 persons are on our radar for contact-tracing.”

Dr Saugata Subir Chatterjee, assistant medical superintendent of Guru Gobind Singh General Hospital in Jamnagar city, where the baby is undergoing treatment, said: “Given that for a 14-month old infant the organs are not fully mature, any slight abnormality will be amplified. While his condition remains status quo, we also need to remember that mortality remains high in case of any disease in a child less than 5 years of age.”

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