VSMMC denies cross-infection among expectant mothers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A government hospital in Cebu City handling coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients denied reports alleging cross-infection within their premises.
The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on Monday, May 18, debunked unofficial reports that some patients, who recently visited the hospital for prenatal consultations, allegedly acquired the virus there.
In a statement signed by Dr. Gerardo Aquino, the hospital administrator, the VSMMC said expectant mothers were subjected for a swab test when directed to their delivery room, and later found out that those, who tested positive of COVID-19, could have gotten the virus outside.
“In light of local transmission in Cebu, the Medical Center has opted for the swabbing for RT-PCR (reverse transcript polymerase chain reaction) testing for SARS-CoV-2 of expectant mothers who came in for delivery. This is done for the safety of the mother, and the medical team attending to them,” it read.
“Much of COVID-19 cases of expectant mothers without any signs and symptoms of the disease got intercepted at the Medical Center only when they are about to deliver. This implies that they may have contracted the virus prior to seeking perinatal care at our facility,” it added.
They disclosed that their Department of Obstretrics and Gynecology (OB-Gyne) accommodated a total of 139 COVID-19 related cases from May 1 to May 14.
One of them, the hospital confirmed, was the 38-year-old mother from Liloan town in northern Cebu, who is the first confirmed COVID-19 case there.
“The census of COVID-19-related OB-Gyne patients even exceeds the number of non-COVID cases which only amount to 87 of the same period,” the VSMMC said.
The facility is also housing the largest coronavirus testing laboratory outside Luzon that is capable of running an average of 400 tests per day.
As of May 18, the VSMMC has attended a total of 76 COVID-19 patients, 23 of whom still remain in their care, 10 have been discharged, and 19 had already succumbed to the disease.
The administration assured that ‘strict infection control protocols’ were being implemented.
“Our Infection Control Committee is continuously working on tracking the points of viral contraction at work and from where our staff lives,” they added.
They also suggested that expecting mothers to deliver their newborns safely in local health centers, licensed birthing centers, and lying-ins ‘unless higher medical attention is indicated’ if it meant preventing the number of COVID-19 cases logged by their OB-Gyne department./dbs
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