Covid warning, advice for pregnant women, those with newborns


Pregnant women and those in the postpartum period are more likely to be infected with Covid-19 as 87 per cent have not been vaccinated, the Department of Health warned on Tuesday.

Director-general Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said 224 Covid-19 patients from February 27 to March 5 were pregnant women and women six months after pregnancy.

There were a total of 7,210 patients in the infected group and 110 deaths. They gave birth to 4,013 children, 319 of whom were infected while 67 died.

Some 6,292 of them, or 87 per cent, were unvaccinated, he said, while 398, or 5 per cent, received only a first dose. Another 550, or just 8 per cent, got a second dose.

According to available information, the fatality rate decreases by 10 times for patients who have received two doses of vaccines.

In total, 117,385 pregnant women have received the first dose of vaccines while 105,094 have received a second dose. Some 17,361 have got a booster dose, Suwanchai said.

The Public Health Ministry aims to fully vaccinate 240,000 pregnant women.

Deputy director-general Dr Ekachai Piansriwatchara said infected pregnant women with mild or no symptoms can isolate at home.

They should not come into contact with anyone and be separated from elders and children. They need to have separate utensils, open their room windows for better ventilation and avoid sleeping with other family members in an air-conditioned room.

Ekachai advised isolated pregnant patients to monitor symptoms of vaginal bleeding and fluid leak as well as preeclampsia.

They must lie on their left side for better blood circulation and should not lie on their back if they are just about to give birth.

Infected pregnant women who have difficulty breathing, feel unusually tired, have pneumonia or have a tight chest or chest pain should go to hospital immediately.

Ekachai said infected pregnant patients do not have to undergo a caesarean section as it takes four to five hours to prepare for this. He advised normal childbirth except for special cases.

Infected women who have just given birth and have mild or no symptoms can hold their uninfected newborns, but they need to wear a mask and wash their hands regularly, he advised.

According to Ekachai, breast milk cannot be infected with Covid-19 so new mothers can go ahead and feed their newborns after cleaning their breasts using a cloth and warm water.

However, the doctor warned infected pregnant women not to use Favipiravir or Fah Talai Jone because this could affect their newborns.