These images show three babies kept in quarantine because their mums are believed to be infected with the coronavirus.
All three are in isolation at the hospital where China’s youngest infected patient was diagnosed just 30 hours after birth.
The number of cases has skyrocketed to over 40,500 and the death toll of the novel coronavirus has surged to 910 worldwide and 908 in mainland China alone.
Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Central China’s Hubei Province, was caring for 34 newborns in its paediatric intensive care unit as of 9th February.
Three among them have been placed in isolation in incubators after having been born to mothers either confirmed to have been infected by the coronavirus, or highly suspected of contracting the killer respiratory disease.
It was at Tongji Hospital where China’s youngest coronavirus patient was diagnosed just 30 hours after birth.
The boy weighing 3,250 grammes was delivered by C-section after his mother – 40 weeks pregnant at the time – presented with a high fever.
The child remains in isolation at designated coronavirus facility Wuhan Children’s Hospital, where another six-month-old boy is also confirmed to have been infected by his medical worker mother, who contracted the virus from a patient.
Both are understood to be in stable condition
The case has led to fears that the novel coronavirus strain can be transmitted to unborn children still inside their mother’s womb.
However, reports say there is still the possibility the newborn was infected in a conventional manner after birth.
Tongji Hospital’s head of paediatrics Chen Ling said: “We need to be very careful when looking at the statistics.
“We cannot confirm that the infection happened in the womb, but we will continue to collect data in order to verify.”
Doctor Chen said the three children who remain in isolation at Tongji Hospital are all in stable condition.
However, those born to mothers who are confirmed cases will be kept in quarantine for 14 days due to the virus’s estimated maximum incubation period.
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