Baby with Covid-19 contact history in ICU at Eastern Cape hospital

SAFE TRANSFER: Emergency Medical Services paramedics wearing full personal protective equipment front from left Marc Wicomb and Denver Baatjies at Dora Nginza with the baby boy after transferring him there from Uitenhage
SAFE TRANSFER: Emergency Medical Services paramedics wearing full personal protective equipment front from left Marc Wicomb and Denver Baatjies at Dora Nginza with the baby boy after transferring him there from Uitenhage
Image: Supplied

A baby boy with severe pneumonia, whose mother's boyfriend has tested positive for Covid-19, is being treated in intensive care in Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

Paramedics from Eastern Cape Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transferred the little boy to Dora Nginza from Uitenhage Provincial Hospital on Friday.

EMS district manager Brendan Metune said the boy is six-months-old.

“When we picked him up he was clinically unstable with severe pneumonia and his respiratory system was compromised.

“He was put on respiratory support with a permanent airway, and on an automatic ventilator.”

Extreme care was taken, he said.

“The mother's boyfriend tested positive previously for Covid-19 hence the infant was a suspected contact.

“Extreme health and safety precautions were advised by the respective medical practitioners

“Hence our team — Marc Wicomb, Lefa Mokgoba and Denver Baatjies — all wore full personal protective equipment.”

Eastern Cape EMS was proud of their team and well prepared for the call out, he said.

“Baby was transported with a dedicated communicable disease ambulance from Uitenhage Provincial Hospital to Dora Nginza.”

“An in-service trainer who has been working with EMS staff co-ordinated the health and safety aspects throughout the duration of the call to ensure guidelines were complied with.”

Metune said the identities of the little boy and his mother and her boyfriend could not at this stage be revealed. Because of the Covid-19 positive boyfriend, once the baby was stabilised at Dora Nginza, he was tested for the virus.

“There is currently a delay in obtaining results. The testing laboratory is in Gauteng. So, specimens are taken and couriered. We allow 24 hours for couriers, 24 hours for testing and 24 hours to get results. Officially the provincial MEC of health will announce results.”

Questions were sent to Eastern Cape Health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo shortly after noon on Friday.

Receipt was confirmed and several follow-ups were made but no comment was available from the department by the time of going to print.


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