Story By: Michael Leidig, Sub Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Asia Wire Report
A disabled teenager has died after his dad who cared for him was ordered into quarantine after he was infected with the coronavirus.
Officials have promised a full enquiry to find out why no alternative provisions were made for the boy after his caregiver was ordered to remain in quarantine.
The boy was identified as cerebral palsy sufferer Yan Cheng, 17, who needed round-the-clock care because he was unable to look after himself due to his severe motor neurone disability.
He had reportedly travelled with his 49-year-old father Yan Xiaowen and also his autistic brother, 11, who was named in reports by the nickname ‘Xiao Wei’, from Wuhan to their family’s village in Huahe township, in Hongan county just 93 miles from Wuhan to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The dad developed a fever three days later and then the younger brother was quarantined as a routine precaution, leaving no carer for the boy who it has now been confirmed has died, although no cause of death was given.
The boy’s mother died shortly after he was born and with no one else to care for the child, the dad had posted a message on Chinese social media network Weibo where he wrote: “I have two disabled sons. My older son Yan Cheng has cerebral palsy. He cannot move his body, he cannot speak or look after himself. He has already been at home by himself for six days, with nobody to bathe him or change his clothes and nothing to eat or drink.
“The government and hospitals don’t have any protective clothing to spare. I fear that my child will soon die. Please everybody, help send some protective suits to Yanjia village in Huahe township, Hongan county, Hubei province!”
The worried dad included pictures of himself and his son as well as proof of the fact that he was in quarantine with medical paperwork and his identity card.
It was later revealed that Chinese officials had planned to move the boy to be nearer his father so that proper care could be given, but he died the same afternoon he was due to be moved.
Yan had also contacted a disability charity in Wuhan to seek assistance and they had reported it to the Hubei Disabled Person’s Federation. An enquiry is now being carried out into the teenager’s death by the local council.
The Huahe township government and Hubei Disabled Person’s Federation have declined to comment.
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