This Chinese baby boy was born prematurely to two confirmed COVID-19 parents and has now beaten the odds to celebrate turning one month old while remaining virus free.
The child nicknamed ‘Zhuang Zhuang’, which means ‘strong’ in Mandarin, was delivered by caesarean at just 35 weeks after his mum, Li Yang, was hospitalised in critical condition with coronavirus symptoms including a double lung infection.
With the couple’s consent, experts chose to end Ms Li’s pregnancy early as medication used to treat her condition were deemed high risk to her unborn child.
Medics operated on Ms Li on 27th January at the General Hospital of the PLA Central Theater Command, which is in outbreak epicentre Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei Province.
Zhuang Zhuang, who was born weighing 2,400 grammes, was immediately separated from her mother and placed in an isolation incubator, where he remained for the entire duration of his quarantine period.
By that time, Zhuang Zhuang’s father had also been placed in isolation as a confirmed COVID-19 carrier.
It meant the boy had to be given round-the-clock care by a group of nurses who acted as surrogate parents, overseeing his care as it was eventually confirmed through two tests that Zhuang Zhuang had managed to avoid transmission of the deadly respiratory disease.
According to the hospital, Ms Li saw her child for the first time via video call on 9th February. She now receives regular updates from the neonatal unit from head nurse Yang Xinfeng.
Zhuang Zhuang had already passed his quarantine period and met the conditions for discharge on 10th February, but as both his parents were still in isolation, he would have had no carers had he been sent home.
Nurse Yang Xinfeng said: “Zhuang Zhuang is a premature baby. Neither his mum nor his dad is by his side, so we treat him like our own child.
“Six nurses take turns caring for him. We even asked friends to help buy special baby formula suitable for premature infants.
“When we weren’t able to buy any, we gave him our own children’s baby formula from home.”
On 26th February, Zhuang Zhuang turned one month old.
He has a healthy appetite and now weighs 3,500 grammes, the hospital reported.
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