Mother appeals to health authorities to allow girl with Down’s Syndrome to quarantine at home

Mother wants daughter with Down’s Syndrome to quarantine at home instead of hotel room • PN MP Ryan Callus calls for exemption in this case

Rachel Umanah with her brother Daniel (Photo: Facebook)
Rachel Umanah with her brother Daniel (Photo: Facebook)

Updated with Nationalist Party statement at 11:29am 

A mother is appealing to the health authorities to allow her daughter with Down’s Syndrome to quarantine at home rather than at a hotel.

In a Facebook plea, Carmen said her daughter’s condition will make it very hard for her to quarantine in a small hotel room.

The daughter, Rachel Umanah travelled to Nigeria with her brother and father, where she visited her grandparents. All three will have to quarantine on return to Malta as per COVID-19 protocols issued by the Maltese health authorities, given that Nigeria is a dark red country.

Appearing alongside Nationalist MP Ryan Callus, who has taken up the family’s case, Carmen insisted that confining her daughter to a small unfamiliar room could lead to tantrums that will be hard to control.

“She will do the quarantine… you can come and check every day but give her space in her own home not in that [hotel] room,” Carmen appealed.

Callus also asked the health authorities to consider issuing an exemption for Rachel so that she could quarantine at home given her condition.

An exemption from quarantine was issued to the national football team last week when they travelled back to Malta from Russia where they played a competitive match. Russia is also considered to be a dark red country.

Rachel’s brother, Daniel, earlier called out the apparent contradiction: “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!”

PN statement

In a statement on Monday, the Nationalist Party said that while it agrees that individuals arriving from red zone areas must undergo quarantine, it has received reports from people that they have been forced to quarantine at hotels despite having alternative residences. 

The party said that this was leading to unnecessary financial burdens. Therefore the PN is calling for transparency from the health authorities regarding this matter.