A four-month-old baby was abandoned at a children’s hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.
Various Italian news outlets claim the woman who left the child at the hospital was the baby girl’s mother.
The woman took her sick four-month-old child to a hospital in Palermo, in southern Italy, and medical staff tested her for Covid, to which she returned a positive result.
The unnamed baby girl was admitted to the hospital on October 12, after the isolation protocol, La Vanguardia reported.
No one at the hospital has heard from the mother since.
Dr Marilù Furnari, from the Di Cristina hospital's health department told the press the hospital had tried to contact the mother.
"But we couldn't locate her. At that time we alerted the police to the possible abandonment of the girl," he said according to La Vanguardia.
Police are now involved in the matter and are reviewing CCTV footage from the emergency room and documents, while also speaking to medical personnel who spoke with mother.
According to local publication, La Repubblica, the police are looking for two women - the woman who dropped the the child off, who claimed to the the newborn’s aunt and another woman, also claiming to be the child’s aunt.
The second woman arrived days after the first, attempting to take the child home after she was ready to be discharged.
However, staff at the hospital were suspicious and contacted the authorities.
The second woman was then forced to stay at the hospital after she tested positive for Covid-19, the newborn stayed with her until authorities could clarify what was going on, La Repubblica.
Then five days after being hospitalised, the second woman escaped from the hospital.
Police are now investigating the matter, and measures have been taken to protect the child.
On Thursday, local time, Italy recorded 16,079 new cases and 136 new COVID-19 deaths.
Lombardy, which includes Milan, has been the worst affected region in both the first and second wave of the pandemic.
The northern region recorded 4125 new cases.
Piedmont in the northeast with 1550 cases and Campania in the south, with 1541 cases, were the second and third-most affected regions on Thursday.
Overall, more than 465,700 people in Italy have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The total number of known virus-related deaths stands at 36,968.
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