Coronavirus: Newborn baby and mother test positive, London hospital confirms

14 March 2020, 12:43

A newborn baby and its mother have tested positive for coronavirus
A newborn baby and its mother have tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A mother and her newborn baby have tested positive for coronavirus, a London hospital has now confirmed.

The baby is believed to have become one of the world's youngest patients to have contracted Covid-19.

Both the mother and the infant tested positive at North Middlesex Hospital and staff who helped treat the pair have been advised to self-isolate.

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The mother was rushed to the hospital just days earlier with suspected pneumonia.

She is now being treated at a separate hospital to her child, according to a report in The Sun. It added that she was tested at the hospital but her result was not known until after she gave birth.

The pair tested positive at North Middlesex Hospital
The pair tested positive at North Middlesex Hospital. Picture: PA

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust said: "Two patients at North Middlesex University Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus.

"One has been transferred to a specialist centre and one is being treated in an isolation room.

"The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority, so in following guidance from Public Health England, we are regularly deep cleaning the areas where the patients are cared for and staff who were in close contact with these patients were advised to self-isolate."

It comes as Public Health Wales confirmed that 22 more people in the country tested positive for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.

It brings the total number of cases in Wales to 60 and the UK total to 820.

For all the latest updates on coronavirus both here in the UK and around the world, follow our live blog

The chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, previously said he does not think pregnant women need to worry about the coronavirus.

The UK government website says there is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.

"Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you," it says.

Meanwhile, the UK's approach to developing "herd immunity" against Covid-19 has been called into question by the World Health Organisation.

Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said not enough is known about the science of the coronavirus, and that while "theories" can be talked about, the current situation requires "action."

Plans are underway to ban mass gatherings from next week as the government looks to implement more extreme measures in the fight against Covid-19.

Boris Johnson had faced criticism for not taking such actions, despite similar steps being taken by other European countries as the pandemic worsens.

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