Mother and child were separated because of the corona virus

Mother and child were separated because of the corona virus 0

Selina, a naturalized Australian citizen, took her daughter Theresa to visit her parents in Wuhan, her birthplace, before Christmas.

This decision left Theresa stranded in Wuhan when China blocked the city to prevent the spread of pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus (nCoV).

Selina and daughter Theresa.

When the Australian government on February 3 began evacuating citizens from Wuhan, 9-year-old Theresa could not board the plane because an Australian citizen traveling with her was not her `legal guardian`.

`Why would they isolate a child?`, said Selina, who did not reveal her last name.

Selina has called all relevant Australian agencies over the past several days but only received the answer: `We can’t do anything.`

On February 4, a hotline consultant from Smartraveller, an Australian travel and tourism information agency, told Selina that she should `wait until the Chinese government opens Wuhan.`

Neither of Theresa’s grandparents could board the evacuation flight, because it was only for Australian citizens and their spouses and children.

Selina submitted an application to fly from Australia to Wuhan to pick up her child on an evacuation flight with Qantas airline that had no passengers, but was refused even though she offered to pay for the ticket.

`I told them I would just sit on the plane and wait until they took my daughter on. I would not leave the plane, but they refused,` she shared.

The Australian evacuation flight left Wuhan on the morning of February 3 and landed at Learmonth airport, Exmouth town, Western Australia.

Selina said she is willing to go to Christmas Island to be with her daughter if Theresa is evacuated.

`Now, I don’t know when she will escape the city. My daughter needs to be taken care of, needs to go to school and needs to be protected,` Selina said.

Selina’s parents planned to go to Australia with Theresa on January 27, but the flight was canceled after the Chinese government issued a blockade and travel restrictions in Wuhan from January 23.

`Take her out of here immediately,` Selina’s father told her at that time.

By February 5, the number of deaths from acute pneumonia caused by the corona virus increased to 492, mainly in China, and the number of infected cases also increased to nearly 25,000.

Greg Barns, lawyer and spokesman for the Australian Bar Alliance, commented that the incident between Theresa and her mother could put the Australian government at risk of violating its human rights obligations under the International Human Rights Treaty for women.

According to the CRC, `in all actions relating to children, whether taken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts, administrative or legislative bodies, it is in the best interests of the

`Under the law, the welfare of children is paramount,` Barns commented.

Vu Hoang (According to SCMP)

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