Cebu City newborn tests positive, mother is negative, for coronavirus

Ryan Macasero
Cebu City newborn tests positive, mother is negative, for coronavirus
Local health officials urge pregnant women to take extra precaution during the pandemic


CEBU CITY, Philippines – A newborn has recently tested positive for the coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH)- Central Visayas said on Tuesday, April 21.

The infant is one of 7 new coronavirus cases in the city, bringing its number of COVID-19 patients to 173.

According to the DOH-7, the infant’s mother did not test positive. The health department did not mention when the baby was born.

“The presence of a newborn case in the region needs further validation on how transmission occurred since the mother tested negative. Rest assured, existing protocols are in place,” DOH-7 said in a statement.

Cebu City began testing asymptomatic people in barangays with more than one case starting April 14. (READ: At least 9,000 residents in Cebu City barangay under total lockdown)

Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz has the most number of COVID-19 patients in the region with 136 cases, most of whom are asymptomatic. 

Cebu City’s 7 new cases are in the following barangays:

  • Calamba, 2
  • Carreta, 1 
  • Duljo Fatima, 1 
  • Hipodromo, 1 
  • Labangon, 1 
  • Suba, 1 

Most of the barangays where new positive cases were found are high-density, low-income neighborhoods. (READ: Entire Cebu City sitio ‘presumed contaminated’ with coronavirus)

There were also 2 new cases in Mandaue City, bringing their total to 9; and 2 new cases in Lapu-Lapu City, increasing their total to 13.

The new cases brought up the regional total to 203 in the Central Visayas.

The DOH-7 urged pregnant women to take extra precaution during the pandemic.

“Pregnant women belong to a special group that is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women,” the statement read.

“Their pregnancy makes them more vulnerable due to the increased demand on nutrition and lowered immune system status as the body accommodates the growing fetus,” it said, adding:

“For this reason, pregnant women have always been part of those groups that are advised to stay at home. “

Previously, two 9-month-old infants also tested positive from Sitio Zapatera.

As of Tuesday, April 21, coronavirus cases in the Philippines are now at 6,599, with 437 deaths. –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.