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Coronavirus Pandemic

Two Officials Sacked After Death of Disabled Child in China

Yan Cheng
Yan Cheng was found dead after being left home alone for six days. Photo: Weibo

Two Chinese officials have been removed from office following the death of a 16-year-old boy with a disability whose father – the boy’s carer – was quarantined with suspected coronavirus, ABC reports.

Yan Cheng, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was found dead on Wednesday after being left home alone for six days when his father, Yan Xiaowen, visited the town health centre for a fever and was isolated by health authorities.

Chinese media reported that Mr Yan had appealed for help from local authorities, village doctors and relatives to take care of the boy, even making posts on social media appealing for help for his son who he said was left alone without food or water.

Local media reported that Mr Yan’s younger son, who is also disabled, was put in quarantine along with him. Huajiahe’s local Communist Party secretary and town mayor have been dismissed over the case.

A Government statement said an investigation team concluded that local authorities “had been working improperly and in an unrealistic manner” in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Cerebral palsy, which appears in earlier childhood, affects movement and co-ordination and often results in severe disability.

Mr Yan had travelled with his son from Wuhan — the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak — to the town of Huajiahe where they stayed in a Government resettlement house from January 17. He was hospitalised on January 22 and diagnosed with coronavirus one week later and is believed to still be in isolation.

The Government report said while the boy had been visited by authorities, they had not cared for him “dutifully”.

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