Basra Children’s Hospital which specialises in cancer treatment has cut admissions by half since May due to the novel coronavirus, its director said, and is battling to keep children safe from infection with a new isolation ward and testing of staff.
Hospital director Ali Abulhussein al-Idani said that since June, five children were diagnosed with the illness upon admission to the hospital, including a six month-old child, who died of complications.
“The immune system of cancer patients is very weak, it can be close to nil. If a patient (with cancer) catches the coronavirus, he or she will be affected badly and rapidly,” he added.
The hospital has boosted ward cleaning and limited visitors to just one per child, is treating more patients as outpatients, as well as routinely testing staff.
A health ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.