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Covid-hit daughter's anguish after mom left to die at home

Covid-hit daughter's anguish after mom left to die at home

A woman told a coroner that the Department of Health had told her it would send her 62-year-old chronically ill mother to a Covid quarantine facility but her mother was later found dead in their flat.
Lui Suk-hang was found dead in her unit at Mei Tao House, Mei Lam Estate in Tai Wai on December 12, 2020. She later tested positive for Covid-19.

Coroner Monica Chow Wai-choo yesterday heard that Lui's daughter, Chiu Hoi-ling, was sent to an isolation facility at AsiaWorld-Expo on December 9. Since Lui was a close contact, she was left at the flat alone.

Chiu had told the Department of Health that her mother was chronically ill and needed special care, to which the department replied it would send Lui to a quarantine facility.

Lui had been suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, high cholesterol and hypertension. She also needed to use a walking stick, Chiu said.

But on December 10, Lui told her daughter that the department has not contacted her. Lui also said she felt sick, had no appetite and had a runny nose.

From December 11, Chiu was unable her contact her mother but did not ask anyone to deliver her any food as she thought the department workers would soon arrive.

On December 12, a relative knocked on their flat but got no response. The relative then called the police. Lui was found dead after firefighters burst through the door.

Chan Kin-man, the ambulanceman who discovered Lui's body, said he received a call at around 4pm and arrived at the flat in six minutes.

He found Lui on the bed facing upward but did not provide any emergency treatment as he estimated she had died six to eight hours before he arrived.

He saw no apparent injuries on Lui except for postmortem signs including rigor mortis and livor mortis. He passed the case to officers at 4.30pm.

The eight-day inquest continues today.

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