An Italian nurse has launched an appeal after a judge ordered her children to stay with their father on grounds she was putting them at risk of catching the Wuhan coronavirus.
The 39-year-old woman, who works at a hospital in Anzio near Rome, was told that despite the fact she does not work with coronavirus patients herself, her children would be placed in the care of their father from whom she separated in 2017.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the two parents shared joint custody of the children who are twins born in 2010, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.
The court ruling comes after the father sent repeated messages to the 39-year-old asking to be given sole custody during the outbreak — requests that were ignored, according to the father’s lawyers.
Coronavirus: 4,824 Italian Healthcare Workers Are Infected https://t.co/ImPaOSzNA3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 23, 2020
In a letter to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the nurse wrote: “I am proud to be a nurse, but I am not convinced that I have to give up my role as a mother. I find all this an act of discrimination against the nursing profession, a serious violation of my role as a mother, and threatening significant damage to the growth of my children.”
“I’m not even operating in a COVID department. My little ones are not in danger. I ask for justice,” she added.
Italy remains the country in Europe hit hardest by the Chinese virus, with over 21,000 deaths and over 165,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday.
Many have criticised the government’s reaction to the outbreak, including populist League leader Senator Matteo Salvini who recently slammed the leftist coalition government’s plans for a bailout to combat the economic costs of the virus and the national lockdown.
After Coronavirus Response Failures, Almost Half of Italians Want to Leave the EU https://t.co/W6YHrsZVHD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 14, 2020
“I want to give him a suggestion: before promising and deluding millions of workers and entrepreneurs by making announcements on TV, get things done. Conte makes announcements, but then citizens go to the bank and get zero,” he said.
Italian healthcare workers have also been greatly affected by the outbreak, with thousands of medical professionals becoming infected and an estimated 100 doctors dying as a result of the Chinese virus.