• A mother in Hong Kong was separated from her 11-month-old daughter after the latter tested positive for COVID-19
  • The mother and her husband waited outside the hospital's intensive care unit, but they were asked to leave
  • The couple had a video call with their child, whose condition has since stabilized

A mother in Hong Kong was left "crying" and "begging" after authorities separated her from her 11-month-old daughter, who tested positive for COVID-19 at a hospital.

The 32-year-old woman, identified only as Laura, brought her child to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam upon the advice of her family's private doctor, the South China Morning Post reported.

Ava, Laura's daughter, had a fever and labored breathing, and she also tested positive for COVID-19 upon being admitted to the hospital Sunday night, according to CNA.

Doctors reportedly told Laura she and her husband, Nick, were not allowed to stay with their daughter after the infant was moved into an intensive care unit as they were close contacts of a confirmed case.

"I was begging, crying, hysterical and screaming. I had a bit of a breakdown. This is so inhumane. I cannot leave her. She is 11 months old. I’ve never left her. It’s so traumatic for us," said Laura, who was a British-born permanent resident of Hong Kong.

"I've said I'll sleep in the corridor, on the floor, anywhere," the communications specialist said while holding back her tears.

Laura and Nick waited outside the hospital's intensive care unit until 1 a.m. Tuesday. A doctor told them that security would be called in and the matter would be escalated to the police if they did not leave.

The couple later had a video call with Ava that day, and their child is now in a stable condition.

Ava is to be moved to an isolation ward, where she will stay for at least seven days until her full recovery.

Health care facilities in Hong Kong are reportedly struggling to cope with the sharp influx of patients, with Queen Mary Hospital's occupancy being at 76% capacity Monday. Other hospitals, meanwhile, were facing between 70% and 109% occupancy rates.

Hong Kong, which is in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak, has reported a total of 66,574 coronavirus cases and 336 virus-related deaths, according to publicly available government data.

Around 3,977 cases remained hospitalized, while 16 were in critical condition.

Dr. Lau Ka-hin, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority, said officials will try their "best" to arrange for children and parents of confirmed cases to be together in hospitals.

"However, as you all know there are many, many cases and many children who have been infected so it takes time for our staff to arrange suitable places for them," Lau said.

Officials believe a lockdown is needed to contain Hong Kong's surging COVID-19 cases.

Hong Kong hospitals are being overwhelmed by a Covid surge
Hong Kong hospitals are being overwhelmed by a Covid surge AFP / Peter PARKS