A Hong Kong family said they have been prohibited from seeing their baby girl in the hospital after she tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
The New York Post reports the girl’s parents, Laura and Nick, originally from England, said they took their 11-month-old daughter, Ava, to the Queen Mary Hospital on Monday because she had a fever and trouble breathing.
At the hospital, they said Ava tested positive for the virus and immediately was taken away from them.
“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.”
In another interview with CNN, Laura said they only are allowed to see their baby girl through online video chats.
One chat that they recorded shows Ava crying as her parents try to comfort her over the computer screen. “Nurse, just give her some comfort, please,” her father asks a nurse in the video.
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Laura and Nick said Ava is in stable condition now, but they likely will not be allowed to see her for at least four more days. Hong Kong requires hospitals to keep COVID-19 patients at least seven days after they test positive. They also must test negative for the virus before they may return home, according to the Post.
In a statement to CNN, a hospital spokesperson said they sympathize with the parents’ stress about not seeing their daughter, but the hospital has severely limited space right now.
“The hospital hopes the patients’ family members can understand the limitations of the arrangements and the space constraint under the current epidemic situation,” the spokesperson said. “The clinical team is trying their best to reserve as many beds as possible for the needy children.”
But Laura said she and her husband do not need space or beds. They just want to see their daughter who is too young to understand why her parents are not with her.
“We’re not asking for a spare bed at the hospital,” Laura said. “I would stand next to her bed. I will sit on a chair next to her for the remaining five days.”