Unbelievable:  Mom In Police-Enforced Lockdown Kept From Sick Newborn

Photo by JumpStory

 

Virtually every person around the globe has experienced the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

But for one community in Australia, anger and shock continues as families put under one of the most strict lockdowns in the world has them feeling like prisoners.

For one mom, the feeling is compounded as she is she is being unbelievably threatened with arrest for trying to get to her sick newborn.

Melbourne, Australia has been experiencing an extreme amount of Coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

A community of public housing has been especially hard-hit by new cases, but government officials have had little disregard for their human rights.

On Saturday, July 4th, a day of the celebration of independence in the U.S., thousands of residents of nine public housing towers in Melbourne districts were put under lockdown – literally.

Guarded by more than 500 law enforcement officers in what has been likened to a military takeover, residents were given absolutely no notice that they would be quarantined — unable to make preparations such as arrangements with family or securing supplies — before they were imprisoned in their homes.

Many of the residents have been separated from loved ones over the last week, but one of the most tragic situations is that of resident Hannah Muhamed.

Muhamed’s newborn daughter was born prematurely, and thus has remained in the hospital for an extended period of time after Muhamed was sent home.

But with no warning (residents were not alerted prior to Premier Daniel Andrews’ lockdown order was released), Muhamed was told she could not leave her home for any reason.

And this included spending any time at her newborn’s side at the hospital.

She was stopped by law enforcement guarding her public housing complex, even though she stated the dire necessity of being able to get to the hospital.

She has told local press that she cannot even leave to nurse her daughter or send her milk to the hospital.

To make the situation even more grave, Muhamed’s baby developed respiratory symptoms and was being tested for COVID-19.  And still, she was kept from leaving her home.

Tensions escalated among members of the community following the July 4th lockdown order, which was originally mandated for five days, but may be extended while all of the thousands of residents are tested.

Five million residents in the state of Victoria have been part of strict lockdown measures, but residents of these housing complexes have suffered the worst conditions.

Many are low-income and elderly, unable to get much-needed supplies like baby formula or medications.

Local agencies and outreach groups have been working to get food and medicine to residents, but logistics have been difficult.  Supplies have often had to be dropped at the entrance, leaving residents to fight over life-saving necessities.

At the time of this writing, Premier Andrew has given the residents of many of the housing towers permission to leave home for essential reasons, but it is unclear whether Muhamed will be allowed into the hospital ward to see her sick newborn.

Eight of the towers have been able to move to “Stage Three” of reopening along with many other areas of Melbourne, but one other building with a soaring infection rate will be forced to complete the remainder of their imposed quarantine period.

Some are being quarantined in local hotels while testing and cleaning protocols are completed.

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Residents all over Australia and into Europe have experienced similar circumstances to that of Hannah Muhamed.

A mother in the U.K. whose baby was born six weeks prematurely has only been able to visit her newborn while wearing full PPE – no skin-to-skin contact – for only an hour a day.

And the baby’s father experienced even greater restrictions.  He was allowed to be present at his daughter’s birth via C-section, but was then made to leave the hospital.  He did not see their baby for a full two weeks until she was discharged.

Neo-natal ICU nurses and hospital staff have worked to ease these tragic separations via an app that allows parents to see their baby, to talk to and sing to them, virtually.

But it’s a far cry from what is necessary for both parent and child — the physical contact, feeding times, and other moments so crucial for early bonding after birth.

When governments try to “keep people safe” by disregarding their rights, separating the family unit, and imprisoning them in their homes, the ends cannot possibly justify the means…

Especially when it comes to a mother kept away from her sick newborn under armed guard — by the force of an overbearing government mandate.

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