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No substantiation yet that pregnant woman can pass Covid on to baby

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Jun 29, 2021 12:13 am

Our Reporter
Dimapur, June 28 (EMN):
Consultant paediatrician and neonatologist at Nikos Hospital Dimapur, Dr. Apong Longchar on Monday said that there was still no substantiation if a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

Till date the active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the baby in the womb or breast milk, the paediatrician maintained.

Longchar was addressing a webinar on the impact of Covid-19 on children organised by the State Resource Centre for Women in collaboration with Child Protection Services, department of Social Welfare under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.

Longchar explained that the home treatment for children includes paracetamol for fever as per a child’s age, giving plenty of liquids, giving light soft diet and avoiding junk food.

‘We recommend Vitamin C, D, multivitamins and zinc to boost immunity and health.  Other than the home treatment proper sleep is one of the best immune boosters,’ he shared.  

He also stated the danger signs which indicated that a child’s condition was worsening — high fever for more than three days; not eating or drinking well; lethargic and inactive; difficulty in breathing, fast breathing and grunting; and oxygen saturation less than 95% by pulse oximeter.

If any of these danger signs are noticed then immediately take the child to a hospital and may also be admitted to paediatric ICU, he said.

“Another condition when the whole family is Covid positive and in home isolation, and if both lactating mother and child are positive they both can stay together and continue breastfeeding while maintaining hygiene and wearing masks. If a child is positive and parents are negative, parents can take care of the child with strict Covid precautions”, Longchar clarified.

 As per a study, he said the seroprevalence was 55.7% in the less than 18 years age group and 63.5% in the above 18 year age group.  SARS-CoV-2 sero- positivity rate among children was high and was comparable to the adult population.

‘Hence it is unlikely that any future third wave by prevailing Covid-19 variant would disproportionately affect children two years or older,’ he said.

Commissioner and Secretary, department of Social Welfare Sarah R Ritse in her keynote address remarked the prevailing situation as “the Covid generation as some have termed today’s children are one of the most vulnerable group of people who are being affected by this situation, not only in terms of their exposure to health risks, but their education, their safety and security, their mental health, physical growth and development”.

“With this kind of situation, there are threats to children’s survival and health, increased risks of violence, exploitation and abuse. Many children are losing parents and caregivers to the virus, leaving them vulnerable, destitute, and without parental care and protection, further leading to fears of child trafficking, illegal adoption, and a host of other such related issues”, Ritse lamented .

Ritse was concerned that some studies, calculating the trends since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, have warned that its impact may increase in children in the third wave.

The bureaucrat urged the key stakeholders responsible for the protection of the children to join hands and work together in ensuring that the children are well taken care of and protected from all dangers and harm that this present situation has posed.

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Jun 29, 2021 12:13:19 am