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  • It’s Heartbreaking As Delta Variant Forces COVID-Positive Babies And Moms To Be Separated

    They are kept in special wards as relatives cannot care for them because of the risk of infection.
    by Maita de Jesus .
It’s Heartbreaking As Delta Variant Forces COVID-Positive Babies And Moms To Be Separated
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Maples Images
  • Taking care of her child is every mother’s priority, and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to nurse her sick baby back to health. But what if you and the rest of the family get infected with COVID-19, and your little one will need to be isolated and cared for by someone else?

    This is the current and heartbreaking situation of select hospitals in Japan, where the rising number of children with COVID-19 has become alarming. The Delta variant of the virus is highly infectious, and children as young as a year old are getting infected.

    Doctors are alarmed because while infections among the elderly have gone down because of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is the individuals in their 30s and 40s who are contracting the virus. And it is spreading in their homes, infecting their young children.

    When primary caregivers also contract COVID-19, moms and dads make the hard choice to do what’s best for their child — leave their baby in a special isolation ward and in the care of doctors and nurses. Sometimes, parents are taken to a different hospital than their kids, making the separation even more difficult.

    In an article from ABC News, a news outlet in Australia, the nurses said that they do all they can to keep the families connected and to give the children the connection they crave for, but nothing can come close to a mother’s love. Because there is a risk of catching the virus, the nurses have to feed and change diapers as quickly as they can. There is also a limit on how much time they can spend with each patient, as there are other sick kids in the ward.

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    Video chats with their family members and a bit of playtime can’t replace the longing the children have. Since they only see nurses in personal protective equipment, the children try to hug them or pull off their mask or their protective gear. “They start to feel very stressed,” one nurse shared.

    “They give us hugs as they feel lonely,” pediatrician Yukitsugu Nakamura told ABC News. “They try to pull off the protective equipment because they don't understand the meaning of it.”

    Thankfully, most of the children that are placed in the special isolation ward only have mild symptoms like a cough and runny nose. They are expected to recover quickly and stay in the hospital for around eight days.

    Dr. Nakamura says that by the end of their stay, the children are energized and itching to go out. (Click here to see the pictures and read the full report.)

    How about in the Philippines?

    The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, as well as the Delta variant, were all factors that went into the decision of declaring another Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

    The number of new COVID-19 cases last August 12, 2021, shot up to 12,439 individuals. News of children being admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 are now a daily occurrence.

    In the Philippines, the standard procedure of hospitals is that a COVID-19 positive patient can only be with one companion, and visitors are strictly prohibited. Thankfully, there is no local news yet of a child needing to go into isolation wards without a parent or companion, and hopefully this protocol remains.

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    The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) stresses that if it logistically possible and the manpower is available, the infected child can be with their parent in one room. In a media presser last August 12, the PPS and PIDSP mentioned that if children are independent enough to take care of their basic needs by themselves, they must be isolated at home, if the family have the facilities and the capacity for it.  

    Click here for a guide on how to prepare if the whole household gets COVID-19.

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