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“Give them to relatives”: Who will mind a child if single mother has COVID19?

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Kindergartens remain open in Belarus / Reuters

"As a single mother, I can't stop being worried about the following: if I catch the new coronavirus or become the first-level contact and end up in a hospital, who will look after my child? My parents are pensioners, meaning they are in the risk group," a reader wrote to Euroradio.

These days, it is not easy to get through on the Healthcare Ministry's hotline. Eventually, someone picks up at the other end of the line but the response is disappointing: 

— A child will not be admitted [with the mother] to a hospital for adults. The only option remaining is to leave it with family members or relatives.

— What if the mother's parents are elderly? She wouldn't want to put their health at risk.

— Unfortunately, there are no other options. If you were absolutely alone, the situation would be different. 

— What would be the solution then?

— The problem would have to be handled by the social protection unit. But I am not aware of any dedicated space where a child could be committed to.

An operator on the Labor and Social Protection Ministry's hotline was not much of help either:

— The child should also be isolated in this case! You can't send him or her to a boarding school if he or she is a first-level contact... I think the child can be admitted to a children's hospital for infectious diseases. Anyway, this falls under the Healthcare Ministry's competence.

As of April 8, 13 people have died of COVID19. 1066 cases were registered.

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