The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, also said to be an immunity attacker, isn’t sparing pregnant women in Visakhapatnam, who are testing positive for the virus. While there are fewer beds or Oxygen available for Covid positives, pregnant women who are getting infected with Covid-19 during their pregnancy are worried about the risk to their baby and their own health. Much of the panic is surrounding the fact that many of these pregnant women are testing positive a few days before their due date, showing a drop in saturation levels resulting in their deaths.
At least 50 cases of Covid positive pregnant women are being reported every day at the CSR block in KGH, Visakhapatnam. The hospital has a floor dedicated to pregnant women with severe symptoms and complications. While Covid cases in pregnant women did not show much rise in March, doctors say the months of April and May have seen a rise in numbers and pregnant women now have to be very careful. “Compared to last year in the pandemic, this year, every pregnant woman should be alert. This virus spreads so fast that pregnant women with low immunity are easily affected. In April, we saw 362 deliveries among which 28 were Covid positive cases, apart from 15 positives who got tested outside and about 10 deaths were reported,” said the Superintendent of Government Victoria General Hospital (VGH), D Hemalatha Devi.
Those testing positive during admission time at VGH are shifted to KGH, CSR block. In case, the patient is in active labour, doctors at VGH conduct delivery and later shift them to KGH. In KGH, out of 246 pregnant women tested, 76 returned a Covid positive result. The CSR block at KGH from April has performed 96 deliveries for covid patients (41 normal, 55 C-sections) to date.
According to Hemalatha Devi, in most cases, pregnant women come to VGH for admissions and find that they are positive symptomatic/asymptomatic. For those who come with mild symptoms in the seventh or eighth month, we are advising them to go for home isolation and only those with fever and cough are being advised to KGH for close monitoring.
According to sources, in March, not more than 1-2 cases were reported to KGH or VGH every day, but from April, the number of cases in Visakhapatnam has increased so dramatically that government hospitals are finding it tough to arrange beds for these pregnant women.
“Last year, no deaths among pregnant women were reported with dropping saturation levels, but this time, women are visiting hospitals with saturation levels at 40. Many such cases are also being referred from private hospitals,” Hemalatha Devi added.
Among pregnant women in Visakhapatnam affected with Covid-19, only those in their ninth month or few days before their due date are seen to be at risk. They are found to have a drastic drop in saturation levels. “When I tested positive in my fifth month of pregnancy, I was worried but my gynaecologist advised me not to get stressed, as the baby wouldn’t be affected by the virus. The main thing for pregnant women testing positive is to have healthy food in small intervals and timely medication. Observing our saturation levels, the room we are isolated in needs to have good ventilation. Above all, the most important thing is to stay mentally strong and fight Covid,” said Nikhitha, resident of KRM Colony.
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