More than 100 pregnant women have been quarantined in Matabeleland North after they tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani, of the 110 expecting mothers, 70 are at Binga District Hospital, 37 are at Tsholotsho District Hospital while 3 are at Lukosi Hospital in Hwange.
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He said most of the women were in stable condition and have mild symptoms and what is also positive is that the virus has no effect on unborn babies.
Padingani said the women could have contracted the coronavirus while going to buy foodstuffs from business centres near the hospitals.
In order to curb the spread of the virus among expecting mothers, health authorities are now restricting movement and they are also being tested when they check in to waiting shelters at respective health institutions. Said Padingani:
Those mothers go out to buy food and they meet different people hence they have contracted the virus.
When they come in we test them but now we have to keep them inside and restrict movement.
The virus doesn’t affect the unborn babies and it’s only in the event that the mother delivers while positive that measures have to be taken to protect the baby.
Padingani said no pregnant woman has been vaccinated in the province as the country is yet to adopt World Health Organisation (WHO) advice to also vaccinate expecting mothers.
WHO recently released guidelines certifying the vaccines safe for use by everyone above the age of 17, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women were not being vaccinated as there were fears the drug could have adverse effects on the unborn and breastfeeding babies.