Ten women who attended Dublin maternity hospital tested positive for coronavirus

Master of Rotunda says patients should be reassured there are no proven cases of transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy

The Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Professor Fergal Malone, has confirmed that 10 pregnant women at the hospital have tested positive for coronavirus. Video: Ireland AM/Virgin Media

 

Up to 10 women who have tested positive for coronavirus have attended the Rotunda maternity hospital in Dublin.

Some of them were outpatients, and remain well in the outpatient setting, a spokesperson for the hospital said.

The Master of the Rotunda Professor Fergal Malone told Ireland AM on Virgin Media One on Wednesday: “Already we’ve had up to approximately 10 patients Covid-19 positive here for pregnancy care and delivery.”

He said fewer than 20 out of 1,000 staff at the hospital have tested positive for the virus.

Prof Malone said these cases were “community acquired” and that he is not aware of “any staff getting infected within the hospital”.

He said any women or babies who have tested positive for the virus are “recovering well”.

“To date there has been no proven cases of transmission of Covid-19 directly from mother to baby during the pregnancy or during the delivery,” he said.

“The cases we’re aware of, of young babies, newborns having Covid-19, likely were subsequent spread after the birth. To the best of our knowledge there is no transmission across the placenta to the baby and patients can and should be reassured about that.”

Prof Malone said there are “very clear guidelines and protocols” about how to provide exemplary care for patients “irrespective of Covid-19 infection or not”. “We just need to make sure that they [women] remain safe and healthy, that their babies remain safe and healthy and that staff remain safe and healthy and they minimise the risk of risk of transmission,” he added.

Later, a spokesperson for the Rotunda tweeted that the hospital had received “a few anxious calls” in relation to the mention of the Rotunda having had 10 patients confirmed as positive so far.

“While up to 10 #Covid19 positive patients have been managed to date by the hospital, some of these were outpatients, and remain well in the outpatient setting,” the spokesperson tweeted.

“Others have already been admitted & have given birth, with maximum attention to infection control and minimising risk of spread, including making sure they are isolated from other patients, and cared for by staff in full protective equipment.

“At the moment, only one patient remains in the hospital with #Covid19 & is receiving all appropriate care as well as appropriate infection prevention steps.

“We understand the worries of our Rotunda families, but we have systems in place that have been designed & tested for this situation. We are very confident our restrictions & infection prevention and control measures are working to keep everyone safe at this exceptional time.”