Despite challenges posed by the current outbreak pregnant women prioritized
Mothers-to-be in Shanghai have been reassured of safe and stable medical services during the city's fight against the latest wave of COVID-19, and pregnant women in emergency situations will be prioritized when calling an ambulance, the city government said on Thursday.
Clinical and emergency services at all of the city's maternity hospitals have been operating as usual, even though the city has been in lockdown since April 1.
Medical institutions must also keep pregnant women updated about opening hours, registration methods and medical processes in abiding by epidemic prevention protocols through various means. They should also provide health education, clinical consultations and psychological support via online channels.
These are part of the regulations from a work plan the city released in mid-March to guarantee medical services for pregnant women during the fight against COVID-19.
"If a maternity hospital cannot exclude that a pregnant woman, who is in an urgent situation, is COVID positive, it should treat her at a quarantine ward or delivery room, and carry out nucleic acid tests while providing timely treatment," said Wu Qianyu, an official from the Shanghai Health Commission.
"In case the woman's test result returns positive, swift lockdown and disinfection measures shall be carried out to ensure the service is reopened without delay," she said.
Pregnant women who are infected with COVID-19 can be received at four designated hospitals with strengthened healthcare measures from the city's three major maternity hospitals.
At Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital, around 3,000 babies have been born since March 1, when the COVID-19 outbreak in the city began. The institution has opened a 24-hour hotline, where medical teams answer queries from about 400 pregnant women daily.
Healthcare company Abbott said it had raced against the clock to break delays in product supply, logistics and order processing to provide infant powder products to mothers requesting emergency help.
It has been able to fulfill the needs of new mothers for products such as partially hydrolyzed milk protein formula, which has been hard to get since the city was locked down.
In Chongming district, which achieved zero-COVID-19 community transmission on Tuesday, supply chains to six mother and baby product stores have opened up, said Zhang Zhitong, deputy head of Chongming.
Shanghai registered 2,634 local COVID-19 confirmed cases and 15,861 asymptomatic infections on Wednesday. Most newly confirmed infections were related to previous cases.
The city government reiterated that hospitals must not turn down patients in urgent or critical conditions if they cannot provide a negative nucleic acid test result. Medical institutions at all levels must ensure that emergency departments, fever clinics, hemodialysis rooms, ICUs, obstetrics and neonatal departments keep operating.