Doctor alleges parents missing after newborn girl tests Covid-19 positive

The parents of a 14-day-old girl, who is to undergo a surgery, are reportedly missing after they were told that the infant has tested positive for coronavirus, said doctors at a government hospital in Ranchi. Their contact number, said the doctors, is unreachable and the police have been asked to find them.

This has left the doctors in a quandary as the newborn is suffering from a devastating disease – Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) – and they need consent of the parents before they can perform the operation. The disease has caused ruptures in the infant’s intestine.

Her parents, residents of Palamu’s Bishrampur block, brought her to the state’s biggest government owned hospital Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) on August 29 for treatment.

According to the doctor, before the surgery could be performed they were required to take the baby’s swab samples for Covid test.

“On September 3 at around 7 pm, her test report came positive and the same was communicated to the baby’s father. Since then, the parents are not traceable,” said Dr Abhishek Ranjan of RIMS paediatric surgery department.

He added, “The contact number of the baby’s father is not reachable. We have informed the police and provided them all details which we have with us.”

According to Dr Ranjan, the baby’s parents looked concerned about their daughter during the initial five days. But after the Covid test report came, they suddenly vanished leaving the baby behind.

“They might have presumed that they would now be tested for Covid and might be sent to quarantine. The poor chance of child’s survival might have also forced them to take such an extreme step,” said Dr Ranjan, who is taking all care of the child with the help of some NGOs.

The baby underwent blood platelets transfusion on Saturday. “She is in the ICU but stable. We are now facing a medico-legal issue in the absence of the parents. Their consent is required to perform the surgery. We can’t wait much and we would take other available resources to do it,” said Ranjan.

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