Amid criticism over the psychological consequences of the city’s harsh measures against the coronavirus, Hong Kong authorities on Wednesday, in some cases, adopted a method of keeping children and infants alone in their beds.
Also read: All the consequences of the epidemic
Although it was one of the most populous cities in the world, the former British colony generally succeeded in bringing the epidemic under control.
This means that only 11,000 cases and 200 deaths are associated with coronavirus in the whole year. But this result was achieved at the expense of the most stringent control measures in the world.
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus immediately shows symptoms alone, even if they do not show symptoms, and people who are considered “close acquaintances” are sent to government-run quarantine camps for two weeks.
Finally, most people who enter the territory have to pay a three-week detention in specialized hotels, at their own expense.
If, however, in the wake of the ongoing Chinese political repression, these measures do not yet lead to major challenges, some part of the country has begun to grow angry in recent weeks due to fatigue. Feeling we have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally.
Concern of consulates
Anger is growing on social media over the practice of segregating children from their parents in units, with some reporting mothers no longer allowing the mother to breastfeed, and keeping toddlers tied to their bed.
The Hong Kong government has repeatedly issued statements this week justifying its policy, including the policy of tying children.
“Generally, the hospital only considers the practice of physical restraint on pediatric patients for the safety and well-being of patients,” hospital officials said in a press release Wednesday evening.
“Prior permission of parents or guardians is sought,” he added.
Parents who have been tested negative for coronavirus are usually allowed to go to isolation units along with their infected children if there is room.
But it is always far from being so. Parents are examples of their children being kept in solitary confinement in a different place and trying to comfort them through the hospital’s internal phone line.
In recent days, consulates of Switzerland, Great Britain, the United States and France have expressed their concerns to Hong Kong authorities.
This is not the first time that Hong Kong family policy has been the subject of debate in the wake of the epidemic.
Last year, a group of expectant parents launched and won a campaign to get a spouse to attend the birth.
While fighting the coronavirus, authorities decided to ban the presence of a spouse in the pre-work room, during childbirth, or in nursing units in a government hospital.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the presence of a mate in its “Checklist for Safe Delivery” and states that infected women may continue breastfeeding.
Although authorities have focused on the existence of a spouse, they continue to prevent mothers from breastfeeding if they are in solitary confinement.
“This is called emergency outrage: there is such pressure to act quickly and aggressively in the context of public health events that set aside other parameters,” said AFP Karen Grupin (HKU), a health policy expert at the University of Hong Kong.
“Responding to an epidemic is more of a marathon than a sprint and we need to find a way along with the very important logic of public health to take into account the economic, social and gender impacts,” she said.
Authorities have identified Hong Kong apartments at risk of promoting the spread of the virus by placing them in detention camps.
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