Jun 12, 2020, 5:00 am SGT
Jun 12, 2020, 5:21 pm
Cabby bears witness to birth in back seat of vehicle during late-night journey to hospital
For expectant couples, the idea of giving birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and in a time of social distancing can be worrying.
But for housewife Sana Lindberg, 30, and her lawyer husband, Mr Per Lindberg, 35, the birth of their second child during the Covid-19 circuit breaker took an unexpected turn.
At 2am on May 27, Mrs Lindberg delivered their second child Rex in the back seat of a taxi, with the masked-up ComfortDelGro cabby, Mr Hanafiah Ismail, witnessing the joyous occasion.
Mr Lindberg said: “She held on to me in pain when she could no longer hold back the birth of our son. We did not expect this as the birth of our first child took 12 hours.”
He recalled what seemed to be “a long 30 minutes” ride to Gleneagles Hospital from their home in Mandai.
“Our baby had not yet cried, so we were afraid for his safety,” he explained. “But the cabby stayed calm throughout and ensured that we arrived safely.”
Associate Professor Tan Hak Koon, chairman of the obstetrics and gynaecology division at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, noted that the management of women in labour as well as the visitation policy at the hospital has changed since Covid-19 affected Singapore.
For instance, pregnant women and those in labour who have fever or flu-like symptoms are isolated and tested for Covid-19 infection.
There is also a limit on the number of visitors, while mask-wearing is mandatory for patients and visitors.
Currently, only one visitor per patient is allowed at any time for obstetric or gynaecology wards. Only five pre-designated visitors are allowed throughout the patient’s stay and they cannot be changed.
Mr Lindberg, who hails from Sweden, and his British wife have been living in Singapore for 4½ years and intend to apply for permanent residency. Their first child, Ruben, is two years old.
I am happy for them and it didn’t matter what happened to the taxi as long as they were safe.
MR HANAFIAH ISMAIL, driver of the taxi where Mrs Sana Lindberg gave birth to her second child.
Upon reaching the hospital, Rex let out his first cries.
“We were both so relieved,” said Mr Lindberg.
When he returned to the taxi for their belongings, Mr Hanafiah congratulated him in what he described as “a warm but brief moment of celebration”.
The 59-year-old taxi driver said he was relieved to learn that the Lindbergs are doing well. He had never witnessed such an incident throughout his 14 years as a relief driver. “I am happy for them and it didn’t matter what happened to the taxi as long as they were safe.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately described some details of Rex’s birth and the ride to the hospital. We are sorry for the errors.