The Hospital Authority has confirmed that they will not force children to be separated from their parents if they test positive for Covid-19. Sara Ho, Chief Manager of the Hospital Authority (HA), confirmed this development at the regular Covid-19 press briefing on Monday.
Ho responded to an estimate by a Hong Kong charity that between 1,500 and 2,000 children have been separated from their parents during the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Hong Kong. When asked about whether these figures were accurate, she said, “During the fifth wave, there’s unprecedented demand on HA service, including the paediatric service. At that time, we faced either the need of a child who was in need of inpatient service and at the same time the parents [wanted to] stay with their kids. So, [this was] a very difficult situation at that time.”
The pressure of the fifth wave of infections on the SAR’s hospital system previously resulted in a Covid-positive 11-month-old being separated from her parents in late February. There are fewer infections being reported in Hong Kong now, with a total of 7,594 local cases logged as of midnight on March 29.
Ho added that since there is less demand on hospitals now, the HA will now closely follow the government policy of allowing parents to stay with their Covid-positive children, especially for children who are “less than seven years old or… with special needs such as ADD [or] ADHD.”
“I understand quite a number of parents [are] staying with their kids. So, if the parents are also confirmed positive, we will try our best to [allow them to] stay together inside the same ward. In case the parents are negative and the child positive, we will explain the risk of getting infected, and get the permission of Centre for Health Protection and will try to also arrange them to stay together in case they have the wish,” added Ho.
Header image credits: VOA Chinese via WikiCommons