Newborn baby dies from Covid after mum infected during pregnancy

A 10-day-old baby girl in Fiji has died from Covid, making her the youngest fatality in the country.

A statement from the Ministry of Health said there were no complications at birth and she passed away at home before she could be taken to hospital.

The girl's mother tested positive for Covid when the baby was born, with a statement from the Ministry of Health confirming the newborn also tested positive in a post-mortem test.

"She was not eligible for vaccination," the statement read.

Newborn baby with blanket over it and closeup of stethoscope on its back.
The 10-day baby tested positive for Covid post mortem. Source: Getty/FILE PHOTO

12 Covid related deaths recorded – including two more children

Fiji recorded 122 new cases on January 26 and 12 Covid-related deaths between January 8 and January 22. Three of those deaths, including the newborn baby, were children under 14.

Out of the people who died, only six who were eligible for a Covid vaccination were fully vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health reported an eight-year-old female passed away with a significant congenital medical condition that likely contributed to her death. She was not eligible for vaccination.

A 13-year-old boy also died. He was not vaccinated and passed away nine days after being admitted to the hospital.

Graphic showing update on Fiji's Covid cases
An update on covid cases in Fiji for January 26, 2022. Source: Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health said the boy had a "significant congenital medical condition" and an assessment made by medical consultants confirmed that his pre-existing conditions contributed to his death.

According to Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong, there have been 94 deaths recorded during Fiji's third wave.

Nine of those deaths occurred between the ages of 10 days old and 21 years old.

Hospitalisations lower than predicted

However, the Ministry says they are recording lower than expected hospitalisations, despite the surge in cases.

"This decoupling of the relationship between cases and severe outcomes is a result of the protection afforded by the vaccination program," the statement read.

"The reported deaths today (including the three children) have been confined to individuals with high medical risk and who have died, either at home, on the way to the hospital, or within a few days of admission.

These two factors (comorbidity and adverse health-seeking behavior) also make it difficult to narrate more precisely the extent to which Covid-19 contributes to the death of patients."

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