Parent concerned about ‘Covid stigma’

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A mother is concerned that persons living in communities with known Covid-19 cases are facing stigma. 

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she felt singled out when she brought her daughter to the hospital to be treated for asthma symptoms. 

The mother and her child travelled from the St Paul’s constituency because the child had been wheezing and had a cough that her mother believed was brought about by an asthma attack.

The child was placed on a nebulizer and was allowed to leave hours later.

The woman returned again in two days on advice of a community doctor because the child was still wheezing.

But, when they arrived a second time, the woman said the same doctor who served her daughter two days prior insisted that she be tested for Covid before she could be given a discharge form to return to school. 

According to the woman, the doctor made the request without asking about the child’s background and without probing further about how she may have contracted the virus.

She said there were other asthma patients at the hospital that day who were not asked to be tested. 

So, the mother refused to have the child tested, noting that the child had no signs of Covid.

The child was eventually discharged by another shift doctor.

The events have led the mother to suspect that stigmatisation was a factor in her daughter’s treatment because of the constituency in which she lived.

The St Paul’s constituency has been reported as having a significant portion of the general Covid cases on island. 

Observer reached out to Salma Crump, the hospital’s Head of Communications, to find out whether there were any rules about how patients from communities with high Covid cases are to be treated.

Crump said there are no official guidelines to her knowledge but felt that it was likely a precautionary request, given the recent spike in local virus cases.  

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