Australia Allows Chinese Mother to Visit Dying Son at Hospital Despite Travel Ban
A Chinese mother was recently allowed to enter Australia to say goodbye to her dying son at a hospital despite a travel restriction due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
The decision to allow the mother, Xing Lang Ren, entry into Australia was announced Feb. 7 by acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge, according to South China Morning Post.
“I’m pleased to confirm that the mother of Xiao Li has been granted a visa to Australia,” Tudge said in a statement. “The government will work with her during this extremely difficult time and to ensure she can see her son as quickly as possible without putting the Australian public at any risk.”
Ren reportedly applied for the fast-track tourist visa to see her 22-year-old son, Xiao Li, 72 hours before the Australian government introduced the travel restriction from mainland China on Feb. 1.
“Typically we ask people to quarantine themselves for 14 days after arriving in Australia,” Tudge said via ABC Australia, adding, “In this instance, we’re going to work very closely with her to ensure that she can nevertheless see her son and take care of the funeral arrangements.”
Li, who had been working on farms in Queensland and Victoria, Australia was involved in an accident on Jan. 27 when his car collided with a truck in Gippsland. He was declared brain dead at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He arrived in Australia a year ago on a working holiday visa.
“The hospital [asked Ms. Li] if [she] would like to donate her son’s organs, and his mother make a very, very difficult decision, because you know in China, when people pass away they would keep their body,” Angus Yuan, Li’s friend said as he fought back tears.
“Her decision is to donate her son’s organs to save more people.”
About 3,000 people reportedly signed an online petition calling for a waiver for Ren.
“I want the Government to give his mother hope to see her son for the last time,” Yuan said on Friday. “His mother has asked [for the life support machine to be kept on until she arrived] but her son has died but … she only wants to see his body.”