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Thai hospitals protect babies born in a pandemic with face shields

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This photo taken through a glass window at a maternity ward shows a newborn baby wearing a face shield, in an effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok on April 9, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Fast asleep, swaddled in a towel and snug in a pink beanie, a baby born during a pandemic in a Thai hospital needs one last item to ensure its health — a face shield.

Bangkok hospitals are using the shields on newborns in their maternity wards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Thailand has detected 2,613 cases of the virus, with 41 deaths — a relatively low number despite being the first country outside China to record an infection.

Bangkok is now under an effective lockdown — silencing the usually boisterous and boozy Thai new year Songkran festival this week — while an overnight curfew has kept all but essential vehicles off the streets.

Extraordinary measures have also been rolled out at Praram 9 Hospital, where newborns are being fitted with face shields, a precaution taken at other maternity wards across the capital.

The tiny face guards have been designed by the hospital for use when the baby makes its first journey home.


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