A senior resident doctor working in the department of physiology at AIIMS and his nine-month pregnant wife tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The AIIMS administration said it is set to carry out the delivery if she continues to stay at the hospital.
She is the first pregnant woman in Delhi to test positive for coronavirus. The country’s top medical institute has already prepared a protocol on how to deal with pregnant women diagnosed with the virus. A 38-page document prepared by the medical institute has one page dedicated to the care of pregnant patients.
“We have a separate suite dedicated to such patients. If she continues to test positive for the disease, then the team of doctors operating on her will follow a strict set of rules. Each healthcare worker present at the time of delivery will be wearing PPE gear, masks and gloves, specially procured for COVID-19 patients. It’s preferable that the patient should opt for a cesarean. Once the delivery is done, the suite will be disinfected for the next patient,” Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of AIIMS, told The Indian Express.
The former head of AIIMS gynaecology, Dr Alka Kriplani, said: “The next two-three weeks are crucial for the mother as well as the baby. As the immunity of the mother is low during pregnancy, chances of her being at risk are higher. The child inside the womb will not be at risk but after delivery, if the mother continues to have symptoms of the disease, the child is prone at catching the infection.”
A resident of Hauz Rani, the 28-year-old AIIMS doctor has no history of foreign travel and had visited the hospital twice or thrice before testing positive for the disease. He is the eighth doctor in Delhi to test positive for COVID-19.
The hospital administration has sent around 10 healthcare workers for self-quarantine after tracing the doctor’s contacts during his visit to the hospital.
“We are trying to figure out his complete history to find the source of transmission. He had visited a mosque on March 20. We are still trying to connect the dots to have final confirmation on the point of transmission. His wife has also tested positive and is admitted to the isolation ward. Their three-year-old daughter has tested negative for the disease. His wife does not work at AIIMS,” said Dr Sharma.
A recent study was published in the Lancet on ‘Management of pregnant women infected with COVID-19’ in Wuhan, China. Seven pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia were assessed and the onset symptoms were similar to those reported in non-pregnant adults with the virus.
“In cases of pregnant women with COVID-19, more evidence is needed to establish when to deliver and when caesarean sections should be recommended. Previous treatment experience has been inconclusive about which delivery method is safer in this patient population. However, no reliable evidence recommends any specific COVID-19 treatment for pregnant women,” researchers stated in the report.
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Five new cases in Gurgaon
In Gurgaon, meanwhile, five people tested positive for coronavirus Thursday. “These include a resident of Gurgaon who was part of the Nizamuddin congregation. The others include a man who is working in Bombay and had recently returned to his parents’ home in Gurgaon, and his father,” said Chief Medical Officer Jaswant Singh Punia.
The district has so far recorded 15 cases. Nine people have recovered.
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