Trinidad and Tobago registered its first mother-to-child transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as health authorities also confirmed that a woman had died soon after giving birth from the virus.
Director of Women’s Health at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Adesh Sirjusingh, told a news conference on Monday that nearly 300 pregnant women have contracted the virus so far with some of them becoming critically ill.
“As of today, we have 285 pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19. They are in various stages of pregnancy. Some have not yet delivered, some have become critically ill going to our High Dependency Unit and Intensive Care Unit, and unfortunately I have the sad news to report, we actually lost our first mother after she delivered to COVID-19 as a result of the complications of COVID-19.
“We have reached that place which is being seen worldwide where maternal deaths are being reported,” the medical practitioner said.
Dr. Sirjusingh also told reporters that an unborn baby had contracted the virus after it had been transmitted to the fetus from the mother.
“On another sad note, we have had a case where a mother transmitted COVID. She is COVID positive and because of our meticulous screening procedures at the hospitals where we do screen our pregnant patients when they come in, we picked up that she was COVID positive.
“Luckily she was asymptotic and we checked the baby and in this case, the baby has turned out to be positive. So this is the first case of documented mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago and is the youngest patient we have to report.”
He told reporters that both the mother and baby are now doing well, and appealed to husbands and boyfriends to get vaccinated as a means of curbing the spread of the virus.
“At this time the case is ongoing. I am not allowed to share too much clinical details, but I would like to say both mother and baby are doing well and are being monitored by the health care professionals.
‘With respect to pregnancy itself, COVID-19 increases your risk of pre-term delivery and increases your risk of hospitalization. A possible heart complication is also a result of COVID itself acting on the heart. Breastfeeding remains safe and highly recommended even if you are COVID positive,” Dr. Sirjusingh added.
Trinidad and Tobago has recorded 40, 233 positive cases and 1,137 deaths linked to the COVID-19 pandemic since the first case was reported in March last year.