The Women's Foundation Letter on Issues Concerning Families with Young Children and Newborns During COVID-19

In March 2022, TWF submitted a letter to the Food and Health Bureau urging the Government to prioritise a review of three restrictions adversely impacting mothers-to-be and families with young children under COVID-19:

1. Separation of children from their parents / guardians if the child tests positive for COVID-19 and the parent / guardian tests negative

2. The Hospital Authority’s reinstated ban on allowing women to have a companion of choice in delivery rooms, which places considerable stress and pressure on women during the physically and psychologically demanding process of giving birth

3. Lack of communication around protocol for mothers giving birth should she and / or her newborn contract COVID while in the hospital

Regardless of their COVID status, newborns should have access to their mother to ensure their long term health and well-being. All women – regardless of income level – should have the right to a safe, supported and positive birth experience by having a birth companion present. And all children should have the mental security that comes with having a parent / guardian present when having to go into isolation due to COVID-19.

Whilst we appreciate the current strain on our healthcare system, we urge the Hospital Authority to enable these conditions, drawing upon policies and precautions taken in private hospitals and in overseas economies to protect the health and safety of hospital staff and patients, whilst still ensuring the short and long term needs of these special groups.