Suspected Chinese coronavirus patient gives birth to baby by caesarian

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese doctors have safely delivered a baby boy from a Chinese woman suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus through a caesarian section in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The doctor who performed the caesarian said the 27-year-old mother’s condition had been deteriorating and the baby was putting too much pressure on her. At the same time, the woman could not get proper treatment for her illness while carrying the baby.

But the surgery was extremely dangerous as the mother had a fever and was coughing non-stop while the doctors faced the risk of infection with the coronavirus, state television reported.

The doctor who performed the operation, Zhao Yin, deputy director at the obstetrics and gynecology department at Wuhan Union Hospital, wore two protective suits, a face mask and goggles during the one-hour surgery.

“I could barely see or hear anything,” Zhao told state television. “And I was soaked with sweat.”

The virus has killed 106 people and infected more than 4,500 across China.

The mother, identified only as Xiaoyan, was 37 weeks pregnant when she was suspected of being infected by the coronavirus in early January. Her infection has not been confirmed, state television said.

The 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) baby boy was sent home as quickly as possible to avoid the danger of it being exposed to the virus in hospital, state television said.

“I just want my baby to be healthy,” Xiaoyan told state television.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Robert Birsel