37 postpartum mothers test positive for COVID-19 at GPHC

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Head of GHPC’s  Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Dr Lucio Pedro

A number of postpartum mothers at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) have tested positive for COVID-19.

This is according to Head of GHPC’s  Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Dr Lucio Pedro, who disclosed that there are currently 37 postpartum mothers who are infected with the virus.

Of these 37 deliveries, he noted 15 were done via C-section.

“We have two teams led by two consultants, so what I did for the COVID-19 positive mothers who need the Caesarean section – we have another theatre for COVID-19 mothers. So, all COVID-19 mothers who are positive will be placed in the other side of the building. My team has three designated doctors who are assigned to deal with these 37 cases,” Dr Pedro explained.

According to the Department Head, the hospital was unsuccessful in determining how these pregnant women had contracted the virus.

Initially, studies revealed that coronavirus-positive mothers generally have good upshots and do not transfer the virus to their babies. But other research has linked coronavirus-positive mothers to higher rates of premature births and maternal morbidity.

However, Dr Pedro confirmed that all has been going well for post-partum mothers in Guyana. He added that all swabs which were lifted from newborns for COVID-19 testing have returned negative.

“As far as I know, I am informed that none of our positive patients who delivered at the Georgetown Public Hospital has infected their babies, but there was one baby who was born at another hospital but was transferred here and was positive,” he stated.

Nevertheless, Dr Pedro outlined that measures to protect pregnant women are of paramount importance. He explained that once tested positive; mothers are then isolated from their newborns in a bid to reduce infection.

“Well, the COVID-19 patients are isolated from their babies, so as long as they are isolated from their babies, they cannot come in contact with the babies until they are free from COVID-19.”

He added that the hospital had constructed a makeshift labour room for positive COVID-19 mothers. This, he said, will separate the infected from those that are not infected with the deadly virus.

While the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) had stated that studies have shown pregnant women can be severely affected by COVID-19, Dr Pedro said none out of the 37 COVID-19 positive mothers had shown any severe forms of the virus.