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Chinese hospitals bring hope to coronavirus-infected mothers and babies

(People's Daily Online)    10:50, February 18, 2020

Li Ping (pseudonym), a mother infected with the novel coronavirus, gave birth to a healthy boy in east China's Zhejiang province on Feb. 8. As the baby boy was born on the Chinese Lantern Festival, his family gave him the nickname "Xiao Tangyuan" (Little Sweet Dumpling).

Chen Xia (pseudonym), a mother infected with the novel coronavirus, gives birth to a baby girl in the Wuhan-based Tongji Hospital affiliated to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology on Feb. 6. Photo provided by Tongji Hospital affiliated to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology

On the day of his birth, doctors from the hospital where “Xiao Tangyuan” was born wrote a letter to the baby: “Thank you for making us believe that all our efforts will be repaid! You gave us courage and faith to move on!”

Two days before “Xiao Tangyuan” was born, Chen Xia (pseudonym) gave birth to a baby girl in the Wuhan-based Tongji Hospital affiliated to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, six days after she was hospitalized as a confirmed novel coronavirus patient.

On Feb. 5, Chen was 38 weeks pregnant when her temperature hit 38.5 degrees Celsius. After learning about her situation, Wu Jianli, the obstetrician, decided to immediately perform a cesarean section on her.

The C-section was also the first operation the hospital had performed after it had been designated for pregnant women infected with the novel coronavirus. To avoid infection, the doctors were put under level-three protection, the highest level of protection against the virus, during Chen’s operation.

The two babies were all immediately put under quarantine and observation at the neonatology departments after they were born.

At Tongji hospital, three newborns have been put under medical observation at a quarantine facility. If they show no symptoms, they will be released from quarantine.

“Xiao Tangyuan”, son of a novel coronavirus-infected mother, is transferred to the Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, capital of the province, Feb. 8. Photo provided by the Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine

Both “Xiao Tangyuan” and Chen’s daughter came back negative in their nucleic acid tests, which are needed to determine infection. Chen Ling, director of the neonatology department at Tongji Hospital, said that to avoid mother-to-child infection, it is suggested that mothers do not breastfeed their children immediately.

There was more good news to come. On Feb. 4, the first novel coronavirus-infected pregnant woman at Beijing You’an Hospital was discharged after being treated. On Feb. 5, an infected woman who was five weeks pregnant was discharged from a hospital in east China’s Zhejiang province.

Chinese governments at various levels are actively taking measures to designate hospitals with strong obstetrics and neonatal departments to provide diagnosis and treatment for pregnant women, said an official with the National Health Commission (NHC) at a news conference held by the commission on Feb. 1. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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