A lot has been said about the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak, and as we all know, the outbreak is spreading like wildfire. As of today, over 1200 deaths have been reported and over 50,000 cases identified.
In any emergency situation or crisis, people with disabilities are mostly hit by a lack of care and support, they are even mostly forgotten during a crisis and sometimes exposed to death due to neglect.
This careless trend still lingers, take the case of Yan Cheng, a Chinese teenager with cerebral palsy who has died after his dad and brother were quarantined for coronavirus checks in china. Yang was left without food, drink or personal hygiene care for nearly a week.
The death of Yang yet again reveals the sad reality of the neglect of people with disabilities by the government and society in general. In a time like this, we are confronted with the dangerous reality of everyone who requires personal assistance not getting it. We may argue that many people with a disability don't move around and may have a low risk of contacting the Coronavirus. We need to also remember that when a caregiver is infected, the risk of a person with a disability getting infected with a virus becomes high. If proper care is not taken, a person with a disability can get infected or get neglected, get uncared for once their caregiver is quarantined.
So the question is, how can people with disabilities be safe from the danger of Coronavirus? Disability rights organizations are working hard to collect and share resources to support families of people with disabilities to help them survive the epidemic. There is a need for government and health workers to quarantine people with disabilities showing symptoms of the virus, educate people with disabilities and their caregivers on how to stay safe from the Coronavirus and also make sure people with disabilities are not left uncared for.