Photos taken this week inside the maternity wing at one hospital in Thailand show newborns wearing protective face shields while being held by nurses

By Maria Pasquini
April 10, 2020 04:49 PM
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LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images

One hospital in Thailand is going the extra step to make sure that the babies who are born there won’t be infected with the coronavirus.

Photos taken this week inside the maternity wing at Bangkok’s Param 9 Hospital show newborns wearing protective face shields while being held by nurses, who are wearing face masks of their own.

Hospital staff hope the protective coverings will give mothers “peace of mind” about the safety of their children, BBC Thailand reported, according to New York Magazine’s The Cut.

However, while the shields will protect babies from sneezes and coughs, they are only to be worn when absolutely necessary, like when the children are taken home from the hospital by their parents, as they could otherwise become unhygienic, Buzzfeed News reported.

“Safety is what we care about the most,” the hospital wrote in a social media statement, according to the outlet.

Nurses holding newborn babies wearing face shields at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this month, another hospital in Thailand also shared that they would be sending newborns home with protective shields.

“We have extra protection measures for little ones and friends, Paolo Hospital Samutprakarn wrote on Facebook, noting that the face shields “can be used in case of travel or protection.”

The hospital also reiterated that they did not recommend that the newborns wore the masks “all the time.”

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Although people who are 65 and older are more likely to die from COVID-19, the virus can affect people of any age.

Earlier this month, it was announced that a six-week-old baby in Connecticut died after testing positive for the virus. “This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said at the time.

Pregnant women are also considered as being of a higher-risk demographic because of weakened immune systems, although early anecdotal evidence shows that that mom-to-baby transmission is unlikely.

“It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in an advisory notice.

In Thailand, which has been under lockdown since last month, there have been at least 2,473 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 33 deaths as of Friday, according to a Johns Hopkins database.

Globally, there have been over 1.6 million confirmed cases and at least 101,732 people have died.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.