ECONOMYNEXT – The parents of the 20-day-old baby who reportedly died of COVID-19 yesterday have tested negative for the virus and the source of the child’s infection remains a mystery, hospital sources revealed.
Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital Director Dr G Wijesuriya told EconomyNext that a delay in admitting the baby to hospital had contributed to her death.
The baby, born on November 19, was the youngest COVID-19 death in Sri Lanka. According to Wijesuriya, she was admitted to Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo on the night of December 07 with a high fever.
“The baby was undergoing treatment at the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) until she passed away around 4pm yesterday,” he said.
At the time of admission, the baby had been in critical condition and initial tests had revealed that she was suffering severe pneumonia, said Wijesuriyia.
“So we admitted her to the ICU immediately,” he said.
The 20-day-old was under intensive care for more than 12 hours. A PCR test during her treatment revealed that she had contracted the novel coronavirus. The baby’s parents, however, tested negative for the virus.
“She was receiving treatments at the ICU until the moment she passed away,” the hospital director reiterated.
It is still unclear how the baby got infected. However, Wijesuriya claimed that a delay in admitting the baby to the hospital was the main reason for her passing. He called on parents to seek hospital treatment immediately without delay for children in need of such medical attention.
“The main reason for the death is a delay in coming to the hospital. I kindly request all parents not to delay hospital visits. There is no need to worry about coming to the hospital premises,” Wijesuriya said.
Prior to yesterday’s incident, 56 COVID-19 patients were identified from the Lady Ridgeway hospital after the second wave that began on October 04.
Of the patients, 46 were mothers. Among the hospital staff infected were five doctors, two nurses and three senior staff members.
With the identification of COVID-19 at the hospital premises, steps were taken to minimise hospitals to one a day for 10 minutes in order to contain the situation.
Sri Lanka recorded 123 deaths in two months after the new wave was identified.
Total COVID-19 cases in the country is now at 29,378, with 7,978 active cases and 491 individuals under investigation in hospitals and intermediate treatment centres. (Colombo/Dec09/2020)