United Nations, May 8 : The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) has estimated that 116 million babies will be born under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New mothers and newborns will experience global containment measures such as lockdowns and curfews, overwhelmed health centres, supply and equipment shortages, and a lack of sufficient skilled birth attendants, Xinhua news agency quoted the Unicef as saying on Thursday.
The report comes two days before Mother’s Day which will be marked this year on May 10 by some 128 countries.
“Millions of mothers all over the world embarked on a journey of parenthood in the world as it was,” Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
“They now must prepare to bring a life into the world as it has become — a world where expecting mothers are afraid to go to health centres for fear of getting infected, or missing out on emergency care due to strained health services and lockdowns.
“It is hard to imagine how much the coronavirus pandemic has recast motherhood,” she said.
The organization is urgently calling for governments and health care providers to take measures, including helping pregnant women receive checkups and delivery care, and ensuring that health workers are provided with the necessary personal protective equipment.