British mother, 32, in Hong Kong reveals her 11-month-old daughter has been kept in hospital ALONE

8 mins read

[ad_1]

A British mother living in Hong Kong has revealed how she has been separated from her 11-month-old daughter who tested positive for Covid in hospital due to strict rules that keep patients and their families apart. 

Communications worker Laura, 32, and husband Nick, who did not provide their surname, brought daughter Ava to the Queen Mary Hospital on Monday after she developed a cough, fever and difficulty breathing. 

When Ava tested positive and was moved to an intensive care unit, the couple were told they could not remain with their daughter because the hospital was at capacity. Strict rules also ban contact between Covid-19 patients and family members who do not have the virus.

‘I was begging, crying, hysterical and screaming,’ Laura told the South China Morning Post. ‘I had a bit of a breakdown. This is so inhumane. I cannot leave her. She is 11 months old. I’ve never left her. It’s so traumatic for us.’ 

The couple are now forced to communicate with their daughter over video calls. Ava must remain in hospital for at least a week and test negative before she will be allowed home. 

The family’s story has gone viral on Facebook and has been reported in local news outlets, sparking concerned discussions among other parents. Anecdotal reports suggest some are delaying taking sick children to hospital because they fear being separated.

A British mother living in Hong Kong has revealed how she has been separated from her 11-month-old daughter after she was admitted to hospital with Covid-19. The couple shared a heartbreaking video call with their daughter (left) as they cried down the phone

A British mother living in Hong Kong has revealed how she has been separated from her 11-month-old daughter after she was admitted to hospital with Covid-19. The couple shared a heartbreaking video call with their daughter (left) as they cried down the phone

Laura, 32, who did not want to use her surname, and husband Nick brought their daughter Ava to the city's Queen Mary Hospital on Monday after she developed a cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Pictured, the family together

Laura, 32, who did not want to use her surname, and husband Nick brought their daughter Ava to the city’s Queen Mary Hospital on Monday after she developed a cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Pictured, the family together

Three children have died in the past fortnight in Hong Kong after testing positive for Covid-19, including an 11-month-old girl. 

Laura and Nick spoke to CNN and shared a recording of one of their FaceTime calls with Ava. In the video, the baby sobs into the phone as Nick and Laura fight back tears while trying to console her. 

At one point Nick pleads with the nurse to comfort his daughter, saying: ‘Nurse, just give her some comfort please.’ The nurse appears to be wearing a full hazmat suit and face shield.

Laura told the AFP: ‘She’s 11 months, she’s aware of her surroundings, separation anxiety is at an all-time high at this age, she was inconsolable, just crying “Mamma, Mamma”.’

Doctors reportedly told the couple they could not wait anywhere in the hospital because they were close contacts of a patient with Covid-19. 

A Hospital Authority spokesperson told CNN that as they had not tested positive it was ‘not advisable’ for Ava’s parents to stay in the hospital’s isolation facilities.

There is also an issue of space, with hospitals combating a surge in cases. But Laura said she simply wants to be close to her daughter.  

Laura and Nick, pictured on a video call with CNN, are desperate to be reunited with Ava

Laura and Nick, pictured on a video call with CNN, are desperate to be reunited with Ava

‘We’re not asking for a spare bed at the hospital,’ she said. ‘I would stand next to her bed. I will sit on a chair next to her for the remaining five days. I just I need to be with her.’ 

The parents were told on Tuesday morning that their daughter was in a stable condition and ready to be discharged. 

However Covid patients – even children – can only be sent home once they have received a negative test taken at least a week after first testing positive. It means Nick and Laura face another four days of agony without their daughter.

If one or both of them was to test positive for the virus, there is a chance the entire family could be reunited in a government-run quarantine camp. 

Hong Kong’s strict rules require all who test positive to be hospitalised or transferred to community isolation facilities.

There were 8,674 new infections and 24 deaths reported in Hong Kong on Wednesday, up from 6,211 infections and 32 deaths the previous day.  

The city’s testing, treatment and isolation capacity already stretched to the maximum. Photographs show overflow Covid patients on hospital beds on the street.

The city's testing, treatment and isolation capacity already stretched to the maximum. Photos show Covid patients on beds on the street

The city’s testing, treatment and isolation capacity already stretched to the maximum. Photos show Covid patients on beds on the street

University of Hong Kong researchers predicted new infections could peak at 180,000 a day next month. Hong Kong has a population of 7.4million. 

Officials are pursuing a ‘dynamic zero COVID’ strategy similar to mainland China, aiming to eradicate any outbreaks at all costs instead of trying to live with the virus. 

Bars, gyms and other businesses are already closed, restaurants must shut at 6pm, and there is a ban on gatherings of more than two people.

From Thursday residents will have to show their vaccine record to access venues including supermarkets, malls and restaurants, wear masks for all outdoor exercise, and they will not be allowed to remove masks to eat or drink on public transport. 

This week Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that schools would break early for summer and resume the new year in August. 

Parents reacted with dismay, saying they were concerned about their children’s education and mental health. 

University of Hong Kong researchers predicted new infections could peak at 180,000 a day next month. Hong Kong has a population of 7.4million. Pictured, outdoor beds in Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong researchers predicted new infections could peak at 180,000 a day next month. Hong Kong has a population of 7.4million. Pictured, outdoor beds in Hong Kong

‘We are really at the limit,’ Lau Ka-hin, chief manager for quality and standards of the Hospital Authority, an oversight department, told reporters. 

In a statement to the South China Morning Post, the Hospital Authority said under current policy, staff would arrange for a parent and child who tested positive to stay in the same ward so long as the situation allowed.

‘Considering that the parents of the baby patient were not tested positive to Covid-19, it is not advisable to stay in the hospital’s isolation facilities.

‘The hospital hopes the patients’ family members can understand the limitations of the arrangements and the space constraint under the current epidemic situation. 

‘The clinical team is trying their best to reserve as many beds as possible for the needy children.’

[ad_2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog