The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Mother appeals to health authorities to allow her daughter with down syndrome to quarantine at home

Shona Berger Monday, 13 September 2021, 11:46 Last update: about 6 days ago

The mother of Rachel Umanah, a girl with Down syndrome, is appealing to the health authorities to allow her daughter to quarantine at home rather than in a hotel room. 

Appearing alongside PN MP Ryan Callus in a video posted on Facebook, Carmen Umanah, Rachel Umanah’s mother, is pleading to the health authorities, saying that she is the only one who truly understands what her daughter goes through when it comes to her condition. 

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Rachel Umanah travelled to Nigeria with her brother and father. Given that Nigeria is a dark red country, all three will have to quarantine on their return to Malta due to Covid-19 regulations. Although her brother and father would quarantine in one of the established hotels, the family is asking the health authorities to allow Rachel to quarantine at home instead due to her condition.

“If my daughter has to quarantine in a small and unfamiliar hotel room, she will suffer from tantrums that will be hard to control,” Carmen said. 

“This is not an excuse as I can assure you that she will do the quarantine… you can come and check every day but give her the space she needs in her own home and not in a hotel room,” Carmen said. 

Callus also asked the health authorities to consider issuing an exemption for Rachel so that she would be given the opportunity to quarantine at home. 

In a separate post published by Callus, he asked: “If we made an exception for the National team coming from a dark red zone, can’t we also make an exception for young Rachel, a person with a disability, to spend her quarantine at home, rather than in a small hotel room?” 

Meanwhile, Rachel’s brother, Daniel Umanah said “No Exceptions can be made, that’s what they told me!! But this morning I found out that the WHOLE Football National Team and Staff were given an EXEMPTION on quarantining at all when returning from a DARK RED ZONE country! RIDICULOUS!” 

That is a reference to a recent exemption granted to the Maltese national football team after they returned from playing a FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Russia last week. 

A petition has also been launched calling on the health authorities to give Rachel permission to quarantine at home instead.

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