Like HIV, hepatitis, COVID cannot infect new born from mother : Experts

Agartala: Like HIV and hepatitis, COVID-19 cannot transmit to the new born babies even if the mother had tested positive for the deadly virus, as around 250 nCoV positive women were found to have delivered healthy babies in Tripura, doctors and experts said.

Agartala Government Medical College’s (AGMC) Microbiology department head Tapan Majumder said that it is a very positive development that in India there has been no such instance found where the COVID-19 is being transmitted to the new born baby from the mother even though the coronavirus disease is a communicable disease.

“Congenital and vertical transmission of coronavirus is not possible as there is no receipter at the placenta to receive or entertain the virus.But HIV positive and hepatitis virus can be transmitted to the new born baby from the mother,” Majumder, also a Professor of the AGMC, told IANS.

During the two pandemic waves, since last year around 250 Covid-19 positive pregnant women have delivered healthy babies at the AGMC, Tripura’s main Covid medical college and hospital.

“During the first wave, as many as 214 Covid-19 positive women had delivered healthy babies while in the second wave 35 such mothers gave birth to fit and normal babies. There were also many cother ases of caesarean delivery,” said Jayanta Ray, Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology of AGMC.

He told IANS that before admission, all pregnant women are mandatorily undergoing Covid testing and if anyone is found with a positive case, due health protocols are being maintained.

“However, family members and relatives of the new born babies and the concerned women have to be more careful. They should not indiscriminately come closer to both the kid and the mother,” said Ray, a renowned Gynaecologist.

Health officials in different northeastern states said that unlike in the first wave children below 15 years are also being tested for Covid-19 in reasonable numbers during the second wave in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam, forcing the governments of these states to constitute panels of paediatric doctors.

A total of 31 minor girls and eight caretakers at two orphanage homes in Tripura have recently tested positive for Covid-19 and most of them have already recovered from the infectious disease.

As the nature and intensity of the second wave of Covid-19 are diverse, physician Pradip Bhowmik has suggested forming study groups for an in-depth study of the disease.

“It is witnessed in the second wave that during the post-Covid period many patients are being affected by pneumonia and some by mucormycosis (black fungus).”

Unlike in the first wave, a large number of young people and children are being infected by the coronavirus. In the second wave the recovery rate is very slow and the death rate is higher,” Bhowmik told IANS.

He said that it is being observed that Indian strains of the virus are more dangerous then the UK and Brazilian variants.Bhowmik, who is an expert in Hepatitis disease and has worked on the disease in the northeastern states and Bangladesh, said that genetically tribals’ immunity is always better but they are also falling prey to Covid-19, necessitating a serious study.

Of the 45.58 million populations of the eight northeastern states including Sikkim, tribals constitute around 29 per cent of the total populace.