KUNMING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- A pregnant woman with COVID-19 Wednesday morning gave birth to triplets in the quarantine area of a designated hospital in southwest China's border city of Ruili, the Yunnan provincial health commission said on Thursday. It is the first case of its kind in China.
The newborns' first nucleic acid tests -- performed on samples taken from amniotic fluid, throat swabs and gastric juice -- were all negative.
The woman, 29, was just 28 weeks pregnant when she was hospitalized as a confirmed COVID-19 case on July 9 in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
"Our previous experience shows that the condition of COVID-19 patients in the third trimester of pregnancy is very complicated, especially if they are infected with the Delta variant. So it is urgent to ensure that the mother and babies receive timely, accurate and effective treatment," said Bai Song, deputy director of the Yunnan provincial health commission.
A medical team consisting of 32 leading doctors from the state, provincial and municipal levels were rushed to Ruili and customized a treatment plan for her while preventing premature birth. Doctors and nurses were on duty 24 hours to closely monitor her condition.
The mother's condition deteriorated and she was categorized as a severe case on July 12. But thanks to the care of the medics, her symptoms and risk of premature birth gradually diminished, and her gestational age was extended to 32 weeks.
On the morning of Aug. 11, doctors in hazmat suits and full-cover respirators performed a cesarean section, and at 10:08 a.m., the babies were born.
"The infants are in stable condition and are being cared for in the special care unit," said Duan Jiang, a pediatrician with the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University and member of the treatment team.
Duan added that they are drafting a feeding plan for the triplets to help them maintain stable breathing and promote their growth and development.