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Through the course of the COVID-19 outbreak locally, 34 pregnant women were infected.

And there were less babies born for 2020 in this country.

This is according to Dr Adesh Sirjusingh, Director of Women’s Health, at the Ministry of Health.

The women, he said, were all infected at varying stages in their pregnancy and were successfully managed through the public health system. All of these maternal infections were recorded in Trinidad.

“Thankfully our country is in a good place with no maternal deaths in Trinidad and Tobago from COVID-19 so far. We should be proud of this achievement and of course, we hope that we can continue this record if we all understand that it’s not a short race that we are in. This is a marathon,” Dr Sirjusingh said.

He also noted that COVID-19 was not transmitted from any of the affected mothers to baby and not one of those infants had to be hospitalised. Current scientific evidence, he said, shows that there is minimal risk of onward transmission from a mother to fetus or newborn. He also said it does not show that maternal infection results in any fetal deformities.

In addition to this, Dr Sirjusingh said there was a reduction in the number of babies being born this year compared to the previous two years.

“The total number of births have been less. Generally, we’re averaging around 1600 annual births. This year we’ve had less,” he said while presenting the data on a graph.

Typically, he said, there is a rise in births between August to January and despite the lower numbers, this year’s rate appears to be following the trend.

He assured that the public health system has the capacity to cope with any spikes in births.