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Thailand’s Covid quarantine policy should keep families together, says Unicef

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is advising Thai authorities on how to prevent unnecessary separation of families under third-wave quarantine and isolation measures.

“Separation of child and parent or primary caregiver when either one has tested positive for Covid-19 may worsen the psychological toll on children as well as expose them to greater risks of neglect or violence,” said Kyungsun Kim, Unicef representative for Thailand.

“No child should be left on their own and families must remain together wherever possible.”

If a child must be quarantined, isolated or treated at a hospital or hospitel, a parent or caregiver must be allowed to accompany them, the Unicef guideline advises. If not possible, the child must be placed in a facility close to their family and allowing for regular communication. The child and family’s contact details and information must be recorded before any separation takes place.

“Children’s overall physical and mental wellbeing, in addition to protection, must be a primary consideration in all policies and decisions on Covid-19 measures for health and safety,” Kim said.

Unicef also advises that if a parent or caregiver must be quarantined, isolated or treated at a hospital or hospitel, children should stay with a relative or responsible guardian in agreement with the parent or caregiver. If a child has been left on their own, neighbours or witnesses must immediately contact the government hotline 1300 to help ensure the child’s safety and the provision of appropriate services and living arrangements.

Published : June 09, 2021

By : The Nation